Bodies recovered from Indonesia plane crash

2015-08-19 20:57
Rescuers have reached the site in eastern Indonesia where the Trigana Air Service passenger plane slammed into a mountain. (BASARNAS via AP)

Rescuers have reached the site in eastern Indonesia where the Trigana Air Service passenger plane slammed into a mountain. (BASARNAS via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jayapura - The first bodies of 54 people killed when a plane went down in eastern Indonesia were on Wednesday carried from the remote crash site after bad weather hampered efforts to airlift them.

Authorities also revealed rescuers were still looking for one of the Trigana Air plane's two "black boxes", the flight data recorder, after initially saying that both had been found.

The remains of 17 people who died when the plane crashed during a short flight in bad weather on Sunday were taken by hundreds of locals and rescuers through jungle and over mountains in Papua province.

The bodies arrived at the settlement of Oksibil, the intended destination of the ATR 42-300 plane, after a gruelling, hours-long journey.

Four bodies had already been flown on to Papua's capital Jayapura while the other 13 were still in the local hospital, transport ministry spokesperson J A Barata told AFP. The recovery effort was halted at nightfall and will resume on Thursday.

Authorities had initially hoped to use helicopters to airlift the bodies from the site, but bad weather made it too dangerous to fly in the area on Wednesday.

"The current conditions make it impossible for us to use helicopters, so we have to do it via land," said local military spokesperson Pudji Teguh Rahardjo.

Officials initially believed that both black boxes - the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder - had been found in the wreckage.

But transport ministry spokesperson J A Barata said on Wednesday the flight data recorder, which takes readings from many different parts of the aircraft, had not yet been recovered.

The tragedy was just the latest air accident in Indonesia, which has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered major disasters in recent months, including the crash of an AirAsia plane in December with the loss of 162 lives.

It took rescuers two days to reach the site, about 15km from Oksibil, after initial efforts were hindered by the rough terrain and bad weather.

They found the twin-turboprop aircraft in pieces scattered across a fire-blackened clearing, and the bodies of the 49 passengers and five crew who had been aboard.

They also recovered some of the $470 000 in government social assistance funds that was being transported for distribution to poor families. Some of the money was badly burnt.

A team of three investigators from France's BEA agency, which probes air accidents, and four technical advisors from ATR, a European plane maker based in France, is heading to Indonesia to look into the accident.

The plane had set off from Jayapura on what was supposed to be a 45-minute flight to Oksibil, but lost contact 10 minutes before landing as it sought to descend in heavy cloud and rain.

The airline has said the accident was likely caused by bad weather.

Trigana Air, a small domestic Indonesian airline, has experienced a string of serious incidents and is banned from flying in European Union airspace.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  air travel  |  air crashes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.