Upset family, friends pray for Ballia airman onboard missing AN-32 aircraft
A massive search on the fourth day has not been able to locate the missing aircraft, which went off the radar about half-an-hour after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat.Updated: Jun 07, 2019 08:09 IST
Family and friends of Suraj Kumar Singh have been praying for the airman’s safe return after they came to know he was one of the 13 passengers aboard the AN-32 military transport plane that went missing on Monday.
A massive search on the fourth day on Thursday has not been able to locate the missing Soviet-origin Antonov-32 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, which went off the radar about half-an-hour after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat on Monday afternoon.
The aircraft, on its way to an advanced landing ground at Mechuka in West Siang district near the border with China, last contacted ground control at 1pm on Monday. It was carrying 13 people, including an eight-man crew.
The father of the resident of Shobha Chhapara village in Bairia area of Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia, Vinod Singh said he received information about his son from an official at the Jorhat airbase on Wednesday.
Suraj’s brother-in-law Adityaraj Singh then called officials at the Jorhat airbase for more information. He said an Indian Air Force official told him that Suraj’s name was on the list of people on board the AN-32 on the 11th number.
Adityaraj said Suraj’s father and his younger brother Prince immediately left for Assam.
The eldest of three siblings, Suraj joined the air force in 2014 and got married to Shalu Singh, a native of Sonbarsa village in the area, in February this year.
The IAF has been regularly updating the families of all air-warriors on board the aircraft about the rescue operation. IAF officials said that the AN-32 is equipped with an emergency locator transmitter, a beacon that can broadcast distress signals. No signal has been detected yet.
First Published: Jun 06, 2019 13:03 IST