Indonesian passenger plane loses contact during flight in Papua
An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 54 people lost contact early on Sunday during a flight in the easternmost province of Papua, the country’s search and research agency said.
The Trigana Air ATR 42 turboprop plane lost contact just before 3:00pm (0600 GMT) after taking off from Sentani airport in Papua’s capital Jayapura on a flight to Oksibil, the agency said on Twitter.
The plane was carrying 44 adults, five children and five crew on the flight which was scheduled to take about 45 minutes, the agency said. It had left Jayapura about half an hour before it disappeared, it added.
Transport ministry spokesman JA Barata confirmed the plane had lost contact and said it was supposed to arrive at Oksibil airport just after 3:00pm.
“We are not sure what happened to the plane yet and we are coordinating with local authorities,” he said. “The weather is currently very bad there, it’s very dark and cloudy. It’s not conducive for a search. The area is mountainous.”
Trigana Air is an Indonesian airline. Indonesia has a patchy aviation safety record.
In December an AirAsia plane flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore crashed in the Java Sea during stormy weather, killing all 162 people on board.