Help of trekkers of Army will be sought to trace wreckage

The combing operation for locating the wreckage of an MiG 29, which crashed on Tuesday, was hampered by fresh snowfall on the higher mountains of the Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. Indian Air Force aircraft, including a Dornier, an AN-32, an SU-30, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, had to return to their bases after bad weather hindered the search operations, according to sources in the IAF Western Command. The help of trekkers of the Army would be sought from Friday.

There are no clues about the pilot who took off from Adampur near Jalandhar in Punjab on Tuesday night for a high-altitude night-flying training session when the disaster struck. The site of the crash is adjoining the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Four choppers were pressed into service in Bharmaur [Chamba district] and Chokhang mountains [Lahaul Valley] on Thursday morning. But later in the day, the operation was stopped due to snow in the upper hills,” said Lahaul and Spiti Deputy Commissioner Rajeev Shankar.

The IAF choppers were also deployed on the high passes between the Kugti wildlife sanctuary and the Chobia Pass, located at an altitude of 5,000 m above sea level, in Chamba district. “An IAF chopper from the Dalhousie airbase was pressed into service in the Bharmaur area.

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