Team of Garud commandos, porters, hunters on way to AN-32 crash site on foot: IAF

New Delhi: The operation to retrieve the bodies of the 13 air warriors on board the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh remained suspended Tuesday, even as a ground team comprising Garud commandos, civilian porters and hunters was on its way to the site on foot, IAF officials said.

Shillong-based IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said the first segment of this trekking party which left on Monday is likely to reach the accident site on Tuesday.

“Due to bad weather and clouds we could not undertake the retrieval operation today as well. Our helicopters were on the lookout for a window to fly but could not. But we are leaving no stone unturned in our attempts to retrieve the bodies,” he said.

Helicopters, including Mi-17s, Cheetah and ALH have been unable to approach the site during the last three days because of inclement weather in the valleys and cloud cover over the crash site, officials said.

“Retrieval operations require the steep mountain sides to be visible for the helicopters to safely hover close to the crash site