An Indonesian plane with 54 people on board has crashed into a mountainous area in the country’s Papua region. Residents reported seeing the plane crash and the hope for suvivors is slim.
“The latest information is that the Trigana aircraft that lost contact has been found at Camp 3, Ok Bape district in the Bintang Mountains regency,” Air Transport director General Suprasetyo told reporters. “Residents provided information that the aircraft crashed into Tangok mountain.”
The plane, a short-haul ATR 42-300 airliner made in Italy and France, has onboard 44 passengers, five crew members and five more passengers described as children and infants. That total is only 53 and there’s no word why the official total of persons onboard has been given as 54. Further, some reports put the number on the plane as 59.
The plane was en route from Jayapura’s Sentani Airport to Oksibil, south of Jayapura. The country is so moutainous that travel by vehicle can be diffuclt and short-haul flights are very common.
Mulitple media sources have reported that Trigana Air Operations, owner and operator of the plane, has been banned from flying in European airspace. It is unclear if that is because of safety issues or due to regulatory rules in Indonesia.
The area the plane went down in is extremely mountainous and there have been storms. Those storms prevented another plane sent to search from spotting the missing plane. There are reports that local villagers have found the plane, or parts of the plane.