Crash reported after Indonesian plane with 54 goes missing


JAKARTA, Aug 16:Villagers in Indonesia’s remote and mountainous eastern Papua region reported that an aircraft had crashed, a Trigana Air official said on Sunday, several hours after an aircraft carrying 54 people went missing, media reports said.
Earlier the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) said a 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.
Indonesia has a patchy aviation safety record and has seen two major plane crashes in the past year, including an AirAsia flight that went down in the Java Sea, killing all on board.
“We received reports from residents. We, along with the search and rescue team, also sent aircraft to search for it,” Trigana Air Operations Director Beni Sumaryanto said, according to the news portal.
He said that within 30 minutes of receiving news that the aircraft was missing, the airline sent another ATR 42 to search along the same flight path but it found nothing because of bad weather.
He said police, military and search teams would check the area where there had been reports of a crash, in Oksibil district, in the morning.
According to the official BASARNAS Twitter account, the aircraft, a short-haul ATR 42-300 airliner belonging to Trigana Air Service and built in France and Italy, was carrying 44 adult passengers, five crew and five children and infants.


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