Rescue Teams Race To Indonesian Plane Crash Site

The missing plane, pictured in 2010.

The missing plane, pictured in 2010.

The missing plane, pictured in 2010.

Rescuers battled Monday to reach a remote, mountainous site in eastern Indonesia where debris had been spotted after a plane carrying 54 people and cash worth almost half a million dollars crashed at the weekend. The plane operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana Air lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday afternoon during a short flight in bad weather from Jayapura, capital of Papua province. The ATR 42-300 twin-turbo prop plane was carrying 49 passengers and five crew on the short flight to Oksibil, a remote settlement in the mountains to the south of Jayapura. Also on the flight was 6.5 billion rupiah ($470,000) in cash stored in four bags, which were government funds being transported by postal officials for distribution to poor families, said Haryono, head of the Jayapura post office. But the plane disappeared about 10 minutes before reaching its destination, shortly after it requested permission to start descending to land. Officials said at the weekend that villagers had seen a plane crashing into a mountain not far from Oksibil, and had found wreckage. On Monday, the transport ministry said a search plane had also spotted wreckage in the area. “Early this morning, a plane swept the route and sighted debris in an area near Oksibil, but we want to double check now,” said transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata. The search and rescue agency said another plane was being sent over the area to double-check and a search team was heading by foot to the mountainous crash site.

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Chukwunonso Azinge is a Public health parasitologist whose variety of intrests ranges from international news reportage, writing articles on current world issues and of course football. Follow me on Twitter @azingelfc and on Facebook- Nonso 'King Kenny' Azinge.

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