Plane with 4 on board missing in eastern Indonesia
A cargo plane, carrying four crew members, went missing during a short flight in mountainous eastern Indonesia on Monday, authorities said. This comes as the latest blow to the country’s beleaguered aviation sector.
The Caribou plane lost contact with air traffic control during what was supposed to be a flight of around half-an-hour in remote the Papua province, the transport ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement the aircraft, operated by logistics and transport company Alfa Trans and owned by local authorities, set off from the city of Timika at 7:57 am (local time) and was headed to Ilaga, a farming community nestled amid mountains.
The plane contacted air traffic control in Ilaga at 8:23 am saying that it was due to land in a few minutes but never arrived. Officials say the aircraft sent an emergency signal from an area between two mountain passes.
“The plane was being used to transport cargo belonging to Puncak district administration and is owned by the Puncak district government,” said transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan, referring to the local government.
He did not give details about weather in the area at the time. Local media reported the plane’s cargo included construction materials.