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Jakarta Post

Merpati plane with sixteen people disappears in Papua

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Mon, August 3 2009   /  01:18 pm

A plane operated by state-owned Merpati Nusantara Airlines went missing Sunday in a mountainous jungle region of Papua, carrying 16 people, officials said. The Twin Otter aircraft lost contact with the monitoring tower and officials on the ground while flying between Jayapura and Oksibil in Pegunungan Bintang regency, they added. Suparno, head of flight safety at Sentani airport in Jayapura, said the ill-fated plane took off from his airport at around 10:15 a.m. local time, on its way to the Oksibil airport, near the border with Papua New Guinea. But around 13 minutes later the aircraft lost contact, as it flew at a height of 2,895 meters, he added. It should have arrived at Oksibil at around 11:05 a.m. Operational director of PT Merpati, Capt. Nikmatullah, confirmed the plane's disappearance. "After taking off the aircraft didn't make any contact with the monito...