plane wreck

An AN-32 transport plane, which had been missing for nine days, was believed to be found June 11 near the border of China. (IANS file photo)

GAUHATI, India — The Indian Air Force June 11 spotted the wreckage of an AN-32 transport plane nine days after it went missing near the border with China, but the fate of 13 people on board was still not known.

Paratroopers are likely to be lowered by ropes from helicopters in the area on Wednesday, air force spokesman Ratnakar Singh said.

Local administrator Mito Dirchi said a ground search team was also on its way to the crash site in a heavily wooded and uninhabited mountainous area of Shi Yomi district in northeastern Arunachal Pradesh, but it could take two to three days to reach the spot.

The ground search team includes some tribal hunters and police and paramilitary soldiers, Dirchi said.

The air force said in a tweet June 11 that the wreckage was spotted by a helicopter at an elevation of about 12,000 feet (3,650 meters).

The plane was flying to a high-altitude airstrip in Mechuka, a small town about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh state.

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