Indonesian plane confirmed destroyed, 54 bodies found (dpa German Press Agency)
Jakarta (dpa) – Searchers on Tuesday found all 54 bodies in the
wreckage of a plane that crashed at the weekend in Indonesia’s Papua
province, officials said.
The ATR 42-300 aircraft operated by Trigana Air Service crashed with
Sunday just 10 minutes before its scheduled arrival at Oksibil in the
mountainous Pegunungan Bintang district.
“If the weather allows, the bodies will be immediately evacuated and
handed over to their families once identified,” Transport Ministry
spokesman Hadi Juraid said.
Another Transport Ministry official, Julius Barata, said the
aircraft’s flight data and voice recorders, known as black boxes,
were also found.
The recorders will be handed over to the National Transport Safety
Committee for investigation, he said.
Search chief Bambang Sulistyo said the plane was totally destroyed
and many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition.
Attempts by rescue workers to reach the location had earlier been
hampered by mountainous terrain and bad weather, officials said.
The plane was on a 55-minute flight from the provincial capital
Jayapura to Oksibil.
Four of the passengers were post office workers carrying 6.5 billion
rupiah (468,000 dollars) in cash, said FX Haryono, the head of the
Jayapura post office.
The money was to be distributed to families in Pegunungan Bintang
under a government social welfare scheme.
Search official Herunimus Guru said there were no reports of cash
being found at the crash site.
Papua relies heavily on air transport because of limited road
networks through its jungle.
The crash is the third major air accident in Indonesia in
eight months, and is likely to raise more questions about the
country’s aviation safety.
On December 28, AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea off
Borneo midway from Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people on
In June, at least 141 people were killed after an Indonesian Air
Force C-130 plane crashed into a residential area in Medan, North
Sumatra and burst into flames.