Trigana ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane was carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and infants, and five crew. Trigana Air flight took off from the regional Sentani capital Jayapura for Oksibil in the south at 14:21 local time (05:21GMT), but lost contact with ground control at 14:55.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency said the search had been suspended at nightfall because of limited visibility and would resume at 06:00 local time on Monday (21:00 GMT on Sunday). Rescue teams will continue their search at first flight on Monday morning. From officials second plane had been sent to look for the missing one, but was turned back because of the bad weather, Later…
Report of crash from villagers:
Villagers from Okbape, around 25km from Oksibil airport, said they saw a low flying aircraft crash into a mountain, Villagers reported seeing a plane crash into a mountain according to local police. They found a grisly scene of bodies and debris strewn among the trees according to Indonesian aviation authorities. The site is about 14 kilometers (9 miles) from the airport where the plane was supposed to land.
After trekking through mountain forests laced with fog, Indonesian rescue workers on Tuesday reached the crash site of a passenger plane that went missing at the weekend, search officials said. “Everything was in pieces and part of the plane is burnt. We could see burn marks on some pieces,” search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said. Rescuers had found all 54 bodies from the wreckage of the Trigana Air Service turboprop plane, Soelistyo said. In Board they were 54 people — 49 passengers, including five children, and five crew.
“The plane was totally destroyed and all the bodies were burned and difficult to identify,” National Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo told The Associated Press. “There is no chance anyone survived.” “Oksibil is a mountainous area where weather is very unpredictable,” Trigana Air director of operations Beni Sumaryanto told AFP. “It can suddenly turn foggy, dark and windy without warning.
Passengers on a missing Trigana Air flight seek information Sunday at Sentani Airport
Correspondents say Indonesia has a patchy aviation record overall, with two major crashes in the past year. An Indonesia AirAsia plane crashed in the Java Sea last December while on an international flight from Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 192 people on board. A military transport plane crashed in a residential area of Medan, Sumatra in July, killing more than 140 people including several on the ground.
In December, AirAsia Flight QZ8501 went down in the Java Sea while headed from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed. And in June, an Indonesian military transport plane crashed soon after taking off from the city of Medan, killing at least 135 people.
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Trigana Air has had 14 serious incidents since it began operations in 1991, losing 10 aircraft in the process, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
It has been on a European Union blacklist of banned carriers since 2007. All but four of Indonesia’s certified airlines are on the list. It has been on the list since 2007.
The loss Sunday of the Trigana plane is Indonesia’s third air disaster in less than eight months. “We strongly suspect it’s a weather issue. It is not overcapacity, as the plane could take 50 passengers.”