Three days after – MIG 29 went missing, Indian air force officials confirmed that fighter jet had wrecked in the mountains as residents in Thirot village had located few parts of the ill- fated planes scattered across snow, 70 kilometres from the Keylong the district headquarters of Lahual and Spiti. .
Few villagers had trekked 10 up from the village and located some parts which we presume are off the ill fated plane that went missing “ Squadron Leader Priya Joshi spokesperson at Indian Air force headquarters told Hindustan Times, while she confirmed that plane had wrecked into the mountains. Jagdish Sharma along with five other villagers including two teenagers had set a ground search after villagers had spotted a fireball falling from sky on Tuesday night. Some of the villagers in Chokang and Thirot had even claimed to hear a loud explosion in the high mountains that echoed as far as 20 kilometers from the spot of accident.
Villagers in Chokang and Thirot exchanged information with each other and set out for searching the missing planes even as Indian Air force officials had already set in the aerial search.
Villagers, who trekked up area beyond chokang village, were able to trace some of the fallen parts of plane, which they brought along with themselves even as fresh mild- snowfall yesterday had hampered aerial reconnaissance being carried jointly by Indian Air force and army. The villagers had also found the tyre of the crashed plane but did not carry it along since it was heavy.
On returning back in Thirot village Jagdish Sharma and his men handed over the parts to the IAF officials who on morning after verifying confirmed that belonged to the ill fated plane The villagers reported that burnt pieces have been scattered in the mountains, while they spotted black spot in the mountain peak tha probably occurred after the plane collided into the mountain. “ There was black spot in the mountains it confirms that the plane had exploded after colliding “ said an air force official camping in the area that did not want to be quoted.
After verifying the parts of the planes Indian Air force helicopters conducted the aerial survey along the mountains to trace the wreckage of the plane. The Indian air force and the army troopers will conduct the ground recce in the area where the villagers have spotted debris scattered in the snow.
While the chances for survival of pilot is remote, the Indian air force had decided to continue its search operations till it finds data box and the voice records to know what went wrong with the plane and the pilot. “Search operation will continue till we don’t recover flight data recorder and get clues we will continue with our search “ said an air force officials. About eighty troopers from army and Indian airdorce witll trek the mountains to locate the pilot and the wreckage. The weather in the areas had turned inclement following fresh snowfall. Night temperature in Keylong was 3 degree while at the site of the crash itthe temperatyure were below zero degree.