Congress condoles death of IAF personnel killed in AN-32 crash

New Delhi


The Congress on Thursday condoled the death of 13 Indian Air Force (IAF) officials who were killed in the AN-32 aircraft crash in Arunachal Pradesh.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to twitter to condole the death of the 13 IAF personnel, saying that for 10 days India hoped and prayed for them.

"For over 10 days India has hoped and prayed that our 13 Air Warriors on the missing IAF AN-32 were safe. Sadly, it is now confirmed that all 13 have perished in a crash. My deepest condolences to the families of our 13 brave men in uniform. You are in my thoughts and prayers," the Congress President tweeted.

The Congress leaders' remarks came soon after the IAF announced that all the 13 people on board the AN-32 aircraft which crashed are dead.

A team of rescuers had spotted the wreckage of the plane in a heavily forested mountainous terrain on Thursday.

The IAF identified the dead as Wing Commander G.M. Charles, Squadron Leader H. Vinod, Flight Lts R. Thapa, A. Tanwar, S. Mohanty and M.K. Garg, Warrant Officer K.K. Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, Leading Aircraft Man S.K. Singh and Pankaj, Non Combatant (Enrolled) Putali and Rajesh Kumar.

On Tuesday, the IAF spotted the missing plane's wreckage 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato, at about 12,000 feet above sea level, with the help of an Mi-17 helicopter after eight days of search operation involving armed forces and police.

The AN-32 took off on June 3 from the Jorhat airbase in Assam for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China, but lost contact with the ground agencies within 35 minutes. IANS