An Indonesian plane carrying 54 people has lost contact while travelling over the country’s province of Papua, Fox News reports.
Julius Barata, the spokesperson for the Transportation Ministry, stated that the Trigana Air Service flight lost contact on Sunday afternoon. The plane was travelling from Jayapura to Oksibil. As of writing, other information known include the type of plane, which is an ATR42-300 twin turboprop, and that it is carrying five crew members and 49 passengers – 44 adults and five children.
The Indonesian plane lost contact exactly 33 minutes after it took off, as USA Today reports. It was scheduled to land in about nine minutes when it lost all contact.
Officials and the agency’s Jayapura office coordinated searches for the plane that lost contact, but it is not clear if they will continue searching for the plane into the night, as the area where it lost contact consists of dense forests and mountainous regions, making it more difficult to search because of the visibility.
Indonesia is one of the countries with expanding airline markets, but it has also seen unfortunate events in recent years. As the Independent reports, Indonesia has experienced two major crashes in the recent year, including the AirAsia flight that killed everyone on board.
Because of the recent plane crashes the country has been experiencing, the Indonesian government promises to come up with new regulations on aviation safety.
Update: The search efforts for the missing plane were temporarily halted as nighttime descended. Search operations will continue on Monday morning.
Rescue agency chief Bambang Soelystyo says the weather is not conducive for searching.
“We are not sure what happened to the plane yet and we are coordinating with local authorities. The weather is currently very bad there, it’s very dark and cloudy. It’s not conducive for a search. The area is mountainous.”
Stay tuned for more information on the Indonesian plane that lost contact here on the Inquisitr.