Rescuers say wreckage of missing Indonesian plane is found

Indonesian rescuers on Monday said they have found the wreckage of a small plane carrying 10 people that went missing on a domestic flight three days ago.

The DHC—5 Twin Otter plane lost contact with air traffic controllers 11 minutes after taking off in good weather on Friday from Masamba in South Sulawesi province.

National Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said the wreckage was found on Monday in a forest in a mountainous area of Luwu District.

The turboprop plane, owned by the airline Aviastar Mandiri, was on a flight to Makassar, the provincial capital, carrying three crew members and seven passengers, including three children. No distress signal was received.

“The plane has been discovered along with a number of victims,” Mr. Soelistyo said.

He said an additional rescue team would be dispatched to the area.

Six aircraft and four patrol boats had been searching for a plane, focusing on the sea between the two southern peninsulas of Sulawesi Island.

Search efforts were hindered over the weekend by bad weather and rough terrain, Mr. Soelistyo said.

The 1981 Canadian-made plane was acquired by Aviastar in January 2014 and underwent its most recent maintenance on September 15.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of about 250 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, including plane and train crashes and ferry sinkings.

It is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but is struggling to obtain qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and modern airport technology.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 5:58:32 PM |

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