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Indian air force finds wreckage of missing plane

FILE PHOTO: A soldier stands guard as an Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft carrying security personnel takes-off from the technical airport in Jammu, India February 9, 2008. REUTERS/Amit Gupta/File Photo

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - An Indian air force helicopter on Tuesday spotted wreckage of a military plane that went missing last week in remote mountains bordering China and authorities were trying to determine the fate of the 13 people on board.

The wreckage of the AN-32 aircraft, which is typically used for transport, was spotted about 16 km (10 miles) north of Lipo village in Arunachal Pradesh, the air force said on Twitter.

“Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants & establish survivors,” the air force said.

The plane disappeared from radar on June 3 shortly after it took off from Jorhat town in eastern Assam state for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight crew and five passengers were on board.

“The wreckage has been spotted,” Mito Dirchi, a district official in Arunachal Pradesh, told Reuters.

“It is close to the spot where the plane disappeared from the radar,” he added.

Reporting by Zarir Hussain, additional reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal, writing by Zeba Siddiqui, editing by Darren Schuettler