Rain delays evacuation of Indonesian crash victim bodies (dpa German Press Agency)
Jakarta (dpa) – Heavy rain and thick fog were delaying retrieval of
the bodies of 54 people who were killed in a plane crash in
Indonesia’s Papua province, officials said Wednesday.
Search officials confirmed there were no survivors after the ATR
42-300 plane operated by Trigana Air Service crashed into a mountain
in Pegununungan Bintang district at the weekend.
Rescuers had planned to hoist body bags into a helicopter using a
rope because the mountainous terrain meant transporting them by land
would be difficult.
“Airlifting cannot be done yet because of the rain,” local military
commander Colonel Sugiyono was quoted as saying by the state Antara
Search chief Bambang Prasetyo said continuing bad weather forced them
to carry the bodies overland.
Another search official, Heronimus Guru, said 27 corpses had
arrived at the hospital in Oksibil, the nearest town from the crash
site, after a five-hour journey by road.
He also said only the cockpit voice recorder had been found so far,
while the flight data recorder was still missing.
Earlier reports said both recorders had been recovered.
The plane crashed about 10 minutes before its scheduled arrival at
Oksibil in Pegunungan Bintang district on a 55-minute flight from the
provincial capital Jayapura.
Papua relies heavily on air transport because of limited road
networks through its jungle.
The crash was the third major air accident in Indonesia in
eight months, and is likely to raise more questions about the
country’s aviation safety.
In December, 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.