Search on for missing IAF chopper in Arunachal

5 Jul 2017

The Army, the ITBP and the Arunachal Pradesh police today launched a search operation to locate the IAF chopper which went missing with three crew members on board near Sagalee in Papum Pare district here on Tuesday.
"The search parties since morning are trekking through a hill near Kheel between Sagalee and Doimukh to locate the missing chopper. "However, inclement weather is hampering the search and rescue operation," IGP (LAW & ORDER) Nabin Payeng said. The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) of the IAF engaged in flood rescue mission in the state went missing on Tuesday at 3.50 pm after it took off from Pilputu helipad near Sagalee. The helicopter was evacuating people stranded in Sagalee and Dambuk due to massive landslides caused by heavy rains.
Tezpur-based Defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Sombit Ghosh said the chopper had gone out for flood rescue operations from its base in Jorhat on Tuesday morning. Sagalee additional deputy commissioner J Pertin said the IAF helicopter, which was pressed into evacuation of people stranded due to floods in the area, had made five sorties since it arrived there at around 10.30 am on Tuesday. "In the sixth sortie to Naharlagun, the crew for unknown reasons did not take the last batch of nine civilians and took off from Sagalee," he added. Chief minister Pema Khandu had on Tuesday tweeted- "Successfully evacuated 169 stranded people that include women, children from flood affected areas of Sagalee and Dambuk through IAF."
Sagalee is north of Itanagar, while Dambuk in lower Dibang Valley district is about 350 km east from here. In May last, a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet with two pilots of Indian Air Force had crashed near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.