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Indonesian airplane with 54 on board missing in Papua region

Indonesian passenger plane missing in remote Papua region

Indonesian passenger plane carrying 54 people lost contact Sunday during a flight in the easternmost province of Papua

The Trigana Air ATR 42 turboprop plane lost contact just before 3pm Photo: EPA

An Indonesian domestic aircraft carrying 54 people has lost contact with air traffic control while flying through heavy weather in the remote eastern province of Papua.
The Trigana Airlines plane, carrying 49 passengers and five crew, was travelling from Jayapura, the provincial capital, to Oksibil, near the border with Papua New Guinea.
"Lost contact with plane," said Bambang Soelystyo, the head of Basarnas, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.

The Trigana Airlines plane was flying south from Jayapura to Oksibil airport
The weather was poor near Oksibil, with heavy rain, strong winds and fog, when the plane lost contact with the airport minutes before it was scheduled to land.

"We are not sure what happened to the plane yet and we are coordinating with local authorities," said a transport ministry spokesman.
"The weather is currently very bad there, it's very dark and cloudy. It's not conducive for a search. The area is mountainous."

The plane lost contact with the airport minutes before it was scheduled to land (file photo)  Photo: Achdiyatma Reza

As poor weather prevented a search, the agency said the ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane lost contact with air traffic control at 2.55pm local time, about 33 minutes after take-off and just five minutes before it was due to arrive at Oksibil.
Much of Papua is covered with impenetrable jungles and mountains. Some planes that have crashed there in the past have never been found.
Indonesia is known for its poor safety record and has numerous airlines – including Trigana – that are on the European Union’s list of carriers banned from European airspace.
Last December, an AirAsia passenger jet crashed during a two-hour flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people on board. The government subsequently introduced tougher air safety regulations. A final report on the crash is due to be released this month but authorities have indicated the disaster was caused by an attempt to avoid heavy weather.
In June, more than 100 people died after a military plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in Medan, the country’s third-largest city. The president has promised a review of the air force's ageing fleet.
Analysts say Indonesian regulators have struggled to keep a watch on the airline sector, particularly the large number of low-cost carriers which haveemerged in recent years to ferry people around the sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands.

Posted by hnm on Sunday, August 16, 2015. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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