Indonesian rescue workers resumed their search Sunday for up to 10 people still missing after their plane crashed off the eastern province of West Papua, officials said.
The MA-60 plane belonging to the state-run Merpati Airlines with 27 people on board crashed into the sea shortly before landing at West Papua’s Kaimana airport on Saturday afternoon.
Director of air transportation Herry Bhakti said late Saturday that 17 bodies had been recovered before rescue workers decided to halt their search operation due to darkness, leaving 10 others missing and feared dead.
Rescue workers joined by local fishermen resumed the search Sunday morning, officials said.
Nono Sampono, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, said rescue teams were also looking for the plane’s flight recorders.
Mr. Bhakti said the plane was carrying 18 adult passengers, two babies and a child, and a crew of six. He said it was en route from Sorong city to Kaimana airport.
“We do not know what really happened,” state-run Antara news agency quoted Mr. Bhakti as saying. “A team from the National Transportation Safety Committee is investigating.” Mr. Bhakti said the accident took place during bad weather. He said the plane went down while in the process of attempting to land.