AN-32 crash: Odisha CM pays tribute to 13 “air warriors”

Nation Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday condoled the death of 13 people, including Flight Lieutenant Sunit Mohanty from Odisha, killed in the IAF aircraft crash in Arunachal Pradesh, saying the country shall remain indebted for their valiant contributions.

Patnaik expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the “air warriors”.

“Deeply saddened by the news of our air warriors who lost their lives in #An32 crash including the brave Flight Lieutenant Sunit Mohanty from #Odisha. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members and pray for the departed souls to rest in peace,” tweeted Patnaik.

Besides Sunit, those who died in the crash are Wing Commander G M Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants L R Thapa, MK Garg and Ashish Tanwar, Warrant officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC (leading aircraft man) SK Singh, LAC Pankaj, and non combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali.

Sunit (28) from Ganjam’s Baliapalli village near Kabisuryanagar was among the 13-member crew on board IAF’s AN-32 aircraft that had gone missing while flying from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district bordering China on June 3 when it lost contact around half-an-hour after taking off at around 1 pm.

The wreckage of the plane was spotted by an IAF chopper on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 ft near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts and rescue teams managed to reach the site this morning.

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