Indonesian airliner wreckage found on side of mountain near Oksibil

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Indonesia – The wreckage of an Indonesian plane carrying 54 people has been found in the Papua region, officials have said.

Contact with the domestic flight was lost just before 15:00 local time (06:00 GMT) after take-off from Sentani airport in the regional capital Jayapura.

The Trigana Air ATR 42 turboprop was flying to the town of Oksibil in the south of the region with 44 adult passengers, five children and infants, and five crew aboard.

The plane took off from Sentani at 14:21 and contact was lost at 14:55, according to air traffic control.

Indonesia's transport minister said the aircraft had been found in the Bintang highlands region, not far from its intended landing site at Oksibil airport.

It is not yet known if anyone survived.

The wreckage was discovered by villagers, who then alerted officials.

"Residents provided information that the aircraft crashed into Tangok mountain," said the country's director-general of air transportation, Suprasetyo.

Trigana Air is a notoriously unsafe airliner, its had 14 serious incidents since it began operations in 1991, losing 10 aircraft in the process, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

It has been on a European Union blacklist of banned carriers since 2007, reflecting a trend across the Indonesia aviation sector. All but four of the country's certified airlines are on the list.

Correspondents say Indonesia has a patchy aviation record overall, with two major crashes in the past year alone.

An Indonesia AirAsia plane crashed in the Java Sea last December while on an international flight from Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 192 people on board, most of them Singaporean.

In July, a military transport plane crashed in a residential area of Medan, Sumatra, killing more than 140 people, including several on the ground.

The ATR 42 makes up the backbone of the Trigana Air fleet, account for 7 of its 22 aircraft, the rest being Boeing 737s and de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou and DHC-6 Otter.

Source: Indonesia News

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