The wreckage of the Pawan Hans helicopter, which went missing last week, has been found in the thick dense forests of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district.
“The Air Force has confirmed that the wreckage of the missing helicopter has been found 12 km south of Khonsa, the headquarters of Tirap district,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.
The Dauphin VT-PHK helicopter owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd took off from Khonsa for Longding at around 10:15 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 with a young IAS officer Kamlesh Joshi, posted as Deputy Commissioner Tirap, and two pilots and lost communication with the Mohanbari Air Traffic Control (ATC) five minutes after departure.
Earlier, social media reports and local news said that the aerial search team could figure out the debris and the crash site on Monday morning but the ground teams were yet to reach the location.
Talking to media persons this weekend, Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary Ramesh Negi said that inclement weather in the area is making it difficult for Indian Air Force to carry out the search operation. “Today (Friday) also IAF chopper had difficulty in operating due to low clouds. We have sought service of those choppers which can fly at low altitude. As of now we are hoping on the ground team,” Negi said.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki was reviewing the search operation being carried out for the missing Pawan Hans helicopter with the Chief Secretary and senior government officials.
Vigorous search operation was going on to trace out the missing chopper under the supervision and coordination of minister civil aviation Thangwang Wangham, minister WCD Wanglin Lowangdong and MLAs Tirong Aboh and Wanglam Sawin with the assistance of Army, IAF, paramilitary forces, civil police and locals. DIG state police, deputy commissioner of Changlang and SPs of Tirap and Changlang were also monitoring the search operation at their respective levels.
Panchayat leaders and local people including students were actively assisting in the search operation. On request of the state government, the Government of India through its Home and Defence ministries were also extending full support and assistance in the search operation.