Missing Indonesian plane crashed in Papua

Missing Indonesian aircraft with 54 people on board crashes in eastern Papua region

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A Trigana air plane that went missing with 54 people on board on Sunday crashed in Indonesia's eastern Papua region, a transport ministry official said.

Following the incident, media cited Trigana Operations Director Beni Sumaryanto as saying there had been reports of a crash from a village in the forested and mountainous district of Oksibil, adding that search teams would check that area in the morning.

Villagers in Indonesia's remote and mountainous eastern Papua region reported that the aircraft had crashed somewhere near their village.

Earlier, the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) said the twin-turboprop aircraft had lost contact with air traffic control as it flew over the forested area but efforts to trace the plane were difficult because of failing light as night fell.

According to BASARNAS Twitter account, the aircraft, ATR 42-300, belonging to Trigana Air Service was carrying 44 adult passengers, five crew and five children and infants.

The plane was flying between Jayapura's Sentani Airport and Oksibil, due south of Jayapura, the capital of Papua province.

An AirAsia passenger jet crashed en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore last December, killing all 162 people on board. The crash prompted the government to introduce regulations aimed at improving safety.

Indonesia's president promised a review of the ageing air force fleet in July after a military transport plane crashed in the north of the country, killing more than 100 people.