Mystery as plane vanishes mid-flight

Indian authorities say they have "intensified" efforts to locate a missing plane that mysteriously vanished near the border with China.

The Indian Air Force has not been able to locate the Antonov AN-32, a Soviet-era twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft after it disappeared mid-flight on Monday.

The aircraft contacted ground control about 30 minutes after takeoff but has not been heard from since.

A total of eight aircrew and five passengers were on-board the aircraft.

It left Jorhat in India's eastern Assam state at 12.27pm bound for an airfield in Manchuka about 205km to the north.

The navy tweeted on Wednesday it had deployed long-range aircraft using infra-red sensors to search dense forest.

The air force said it was using satellites to take pictures of the terrain during the day, and ground teams were using night-vision goggles to search by night.

Sorties by the navy's long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I and helicopters equipped with advanced sensors have joined the search operation.

Military sources told India Today rescuers had not received any signal from the emergency locator beacon in the missing plane.

The search was briefly called off on Wednesday due to heavy rain.

"I pray for the safety of all passengers on-board," Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.

Geoffrey Thomas, managing director of, told CNN it was possible the plane had crashed in a remote region, which would make it difficult to locate.

The AN-32 planes and similar aircraft have been involved in more than 15 incidents since 1986.

The plane is considered a "workhorse" and is often used in extreme environments.

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