JAYAPURA, Indonesia: A passenger plane carrying 54 people went missing Sunday during a flight in bad weather in rugged eastern Indonesia, officials said, in what could be the latest accident to hit the country’s aviation sector.
The plane operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana Air lost contact with air traffic control just before 3:00 pm (0600 GMT) after taking off from Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, the search and rescue agency said.
The ATR 42-300 turboprop plane was carrying 44 adults, five children and five crew on the flight which was scheduled to take about 45 minutes, the agency said.
The agency said the flight had left Jayapura about half an hour before it disappeared and was headed to Oksibil, a remote settlement in the mountains south of the provincial capital and only accessible by plane.
Ten minutes before it was due to land, the plane contacted Oksibil control tower asking to descend, Captain Beni Sumaryanto, Trigana Air’s service director of operations, told AFP.