June 3, 2019 / 11:53 AM / 3 months ago

Indian air force plane with 13 on board missing near China border

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian air force aircraft with 13 people on board went missing on Monday in remote northeastern mountains bordering China, government officials said.

The AN-32 aircraft, which is typically used for transport, took off from Assam’s Jorhat town for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh state but lost contact with ground agencies at around 1 p.m. (0730 GMT).

“Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated,” said one government official.

“A total of eight crew and five passengers were on board.”

The air force had begun a search, including deploying a Sukhoi combat jet, another government official said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who assumed charge of the ministry last week, said he was in touch with senior air force officials.

“I pray for the safety of all passengers on board,” he said on Twitter.

Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal, additional reporting by Zarir Hussain in Guwahati; Editing by Robert Birsel

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