Rescue team airlifted by IAF after 2 weeks

Updated on Jun 29, 2019 10:55 PM IST

Explaining why it had taken so long to airlift the team when the remains of the AN-32 crew members were pulled out earlier this week, an IAF spokesperson said, “Bad weather prevented us from bringing back the rescue team.”

The team comprised eight personnel from the IAF, four from the army and three civilians, including Taka Tamut, who had summited Mount Everest.(HT Photo)
The team comprised eight personnel from the IAF, four from the army and three civilians, including Taka Tamut, who had summited Mount Everest.(HT Photo)
New Delhi/ Guwahati | ByHT Correspondent

The 15-member rescue team sent to retrieve the bodies of 13 crew members killed in the June 3 AN-32 transport aircraft crash in Arunachal Pradesh was airlifted to safety on Saturday evening after over two weeks, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

Explaining why it had taken so long to airlift the team when the remains of the AN-32 crew members were pulled out earlier this week, an IAF spokesperson said, “Bad weather prevented us from bringing back the rescue team.”

Another IAF official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The team could not be pulled out then because they had to wrap up their gear. Subsequently, there was a spell of bad weather which prevented us from flying sorties to that area.”

The team comprised eight personnel from the IAF, four from the army and three civilians, including Taka Tamut, who had summited Mount Everest. They were airlifted in the indigenously made advanced light helicopter (ALH) and the Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter.

According to an IAF statement, “Today (Saturday)evening at around 5.15 pm, the search and rescue team which was camping at the crash site since June 12 was retrieved by IAF choppers to Along.”

On June 3, an An-32 crashed on its way to Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh from Jorhat in Assam crashed, killing all 13 crew members. The debris of the aircraft was spotted eight days later on thickly forested mountains at a height of 12,000 feet. The next day, the 15-member search-and-rescue team were airdropped in the area.

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