A soldier stands guard as an Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft carrying security personnel takes-off from the technical airport in Jammu (REUTERS/Amit Gupta/File Photo).

AN Indian air force aircraft with 13 people on board went missing on Monday (3) in remote northeastern mountains bordering China, government officials said.

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