Manali: The efforts to search the MiG-29 aircraft which crashed in the Lahaul-Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday could not be continued after Thursday afternoon owing to bad weather. The sudden snowfall disrupted the search operation.

The search mission carried out by Army, Air Force, police and locals continued thorough Wednesday but the weather played spoilsport. The efforts failed to find any trace of the missing pilot and the ill-fated plane.

Though the Air Force is hopeful about the missing pilot who could have saved himself with help of a parachute, but keeping oneself alive in the rigorous climatic conditions is in itself a challenge.

While two helicopters from Lahaul and four helicopters from Leh-Laddakh were doing rekey in the valley in search of the fighter aircraft, the sudden snowfall brought the efforts to an end.

The locals claim that they heard of the accident but could not find the plane. The difficult terrain makes it impossible to carry out a ground operation, while the only option of using helicopters also proved a damp squib in the cruel weather.

JPN/Bureau