51 years after IAF aircraft went missing, parts of AN-12 BL-534 recovered

Chandigarh: A joint team of Dogra Scouts and Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday recovered parts of AN-12 BL-534 Aircraft that had gone missing over Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh about 51 years ago.

According to a press release issued by the Public Relations Office (PRO) of the Defence wing, an expedition of Dogra Scouts was launched on July 26 this year to Dhaka Glacier under the aegis of Headquarter Western Command with an aim to recover the mortal remains of soldiers who were onboard AN-12 BL-534 Aircraft, which went missing over Rohtang Pass on 7 February 1968.

"After 13 days of rigorous search and recovery operation in Dhaka Glacier at an altitude of 5240 meters, the team recovered parts of the AN-12 Aircraft like the Aero Engine, Fuselage, Electric Circuits, Propeller, Fuel Tank Unit, Air Brake assembly and a Cockpit Door as well as personal belongings of some passengers who were onboard AN-12 BL-534 Aircraft," the release said.

It said that the search areas including the location of recoveries have been mapped for future reference and that the expedition was joined by a team of Indian Air Force on August 6, 2019 to augment the search and identification efforts.

"The glacier had high levels of snow accumulation due to old avalanches, precipitous gradients, avalanche-prone slopes and open crevasses along the course which made the movement of the team extremely difficult and energy-sapping," said the release.

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