Sunday, 12 August 2018

Plane Carrying Nine People Goes Missing In Indonesia

A small plane carrying nine people disappeared on Saturday during a short flight in eastern Indonesia, according to the authorities, with an ongoing search and rescue mission.

The Swiss-made Pilatus plane lost contact with air traffic control during what was supposed to be a flight of about 40 minutes in the remote province of Papua, the police said.

"The villagers of Okatem reported hearing a roar from the plane followed by a big explosion," Bintang Regent Police Chief Michael Mumbunan told AFP.

The search and rescue teams have been deployed, but it will take up to three hours to reach the site of the alleged accident on foot, he added.

The plane was carrying seven passengers, including one child and two crew members.

It belonged to Dimonim Air, a private company operating charter flights to and from Papua.

Indonesia relies heavily on air transport to link its thousands of islands, but its record in aviation safety is poor and has suffered several fatalities in recent years.

Papua is a particularly difficult region to reach.

Five people died after a small plane crashed near Wamena, Papua province, last July.

In August 2015, a commercial plane operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana crashed in Papua due to bad weather, killing 54 people on board.

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