New Delhi: All 13 people on board the Indian Air Force (IAF) transporter aircraft AN-32, which crashed in the hilly-forest areas of Arunachal Pradesh, are dead. 
The search and rescue team could not find any survivors in the crash site. The IAF condoled their demise and said that the force stood by their families.

"IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors from the crash of AN-32.”

In another tweet, they added, "IAF Pays tribute to the brave air-warriors who lost their lives during the AN-32 crash on Jun 3, 2019 and stands by with the families of the victims. May their soul rest in peace." 

There were eight crew members and five armed forces personnel on board when the aircraft lost contact with ground control and went off radar on June 3. The transporter plane was on its way to Menchuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh from Jorhat in Assam.

After an intense search operation that lasted eight days, the Indian Air Force search teams managed to reach the AN-32 crash site on June 11. 

Aviation experts and IAF officials said that thick cover of cloud could be the possible reason behind the AN-32 crash. The crash point of the plane clearly shows that it could have crossed the hill but hit very close to the edge of the hill. 

Also read – WATCH: Rescue operation begins at AN-32 aircraft crash site

Pictures of the crash site suggest that the aircraft was trying to climb over the mountain but failed to do so. However, IAF is trying to retrieve the black box and CVR of the plane to ascertain the exact reason behind the crash.

The debris of the crash plane was spotted by Mi-17 helicopters. Indian forces had deployed four Mi-17 helicopters, three ALH (two of Army, one of IAF), 2 SU-30 MKI, One C-130 J, two Cheetah helicopters, one UAV and one P8I of the Navy. The IAF had also on Saturday announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone providing information about the location of the AN-32 transport aircraft after rough weather hampered search operations. 

The air force had been regularly updating the families of all air warriors on board the aircraft about the rescue operation.