A search team has located the wreckage of a missing passenger plane with 54 people aboard near the city of Oksibil in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua, the local rescue agency chief said on Monday.

Susanto, head of the Search and Rescue Office in Jayapura, capital of Papua province, said aircraft from the office has seen the wreckage of the plane with flight number TGN267.

“Yes, the plane has been found,” he told Xinhua over phone from Oksibil.

Soldiers, police and rescuers were heading to the crash site of the Trigana Air plane, which went missing 33 minutes after it took off from Jayapura on Sunday.

“About 60 personnel from the search and rescue office, military and police have headed to the area. But we still do not know their position as there is no signal for communication,” spokesman of the Transport Ministry J.A. Barata said.

He said the rescue operation was difficult because of bad weather and mountainous terrain.
“The weather can change rapidly here. Cloud can appear immediately and hamper feasibility. Under this condition aircraft can not fly low. Besides, there are many mountains which also hamper the flight,” the spokesman said.

The ATR-42 turboprop plane, which was carrying 54 people including three babies and two children, was scheduled to land in Oksibil, 280 km south of Jayapura, according to Barata.

The Trigana Air has lost 10 aircraft in 14 incidents since it began operations in 1991.
The airline has been on an EU blacklist since 2007, which bans it from flying in the European airspace due to safety concerns.

On Aug. 12, a small passenger plane crashed when it was trying to land in Ninia airport of Papua, killing one person and badly wounding the pilot and four others.

Small planes have been operated in remote provinces of Indonesia, an archipelago nation of some 17,000 islands. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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