A Dimonim Air plane with nine people on board (seven passengers and two crew) disappeared yesterday on a flight from Tanah Merah, Indonesia to Papua, Indonesia’s eastern province. The flight generally takes about 40 minutes.
The aircraft, a Pilatus PC-6 Porter, lost contact with Air Traffic Control soon before its scheduled arrival in Papua on Saturday.
Now, a search-and-rescue effort has located the plane, which crashed on a heavily forested mountainside in Obsibil, a subdistrict of Papua.
“Eight passengers were found dead and one was found alive,” said Papua military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dax Sianturi. “At the moment the cause of the crash has not been confirmed.”
The sole survivor, a 12-year-old child, suffered broken bones and is being treated at a local hospital. The boy, identified only as Jumaidi, was reportedly conscious on the scene of the accident.
Villagers in Okatem, which is near the crash site, reported hearing a loud roar followed by an explosion around the time of the crash.
Indonesia relies on air transport to connect the thousands of tiny islands that make up the country. The country, however, has a poor aviation safety record and has seen multiple fatal crashes over the past few years.
Papua is often considered one of the hardest parts of Indonesia to reach, especially considering the region’s rapidly changing weather conditions. In July of 2017, five people died after a plane crashed near Wamena, which is in Papua. In 2015, an aircraft operated by Trigana crashed in Papua due to bad weather, killing 54.
Featured image from AFP/Getty Images