Major search effort launched as Indonesia cargo plane goes missing off Papua

A major search effort has been launched to find a small Rimbun Air cargo plane that lost contact with authorities in Indonesia after taking off in the country’s easternmost province Papua on Wednesday.

Local airport authorities and the National Search and Rescue Agency are now searching for the plane, officials said, after contact was lost 50 minutes into the aircraft’s journey.

The Twin Otter 300 plane was carrying construction materials to the Intan Jaya district of Papua from the Nabre district in the same province.

The Transportation Ministry in a statement said that three people were believed to be on board the plane – a pilot, co-pilot and technician.

“Until now, there has been no communication with the Rimbun Air PK-OTW plane,” Adita Irawati, the ministry spokesperson said.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of about 270 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, including plane crashes and ferry sinkings.

According to data from the Aviation Safety Network, Indonesia ranks as the most dangerous country to fly in Asia with 104 civilian airliner accidents since 1945. Earlier this year a domestic passenger plane, a Boeing 737-500, crashed into the Java Sea killing 62 people.

More to follow

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