The Jakarta Post
The authorities at Dumatubun-Langgur Airport in Southeast Maluku, together with the regency's Search and Rescue (SAR) team, have identified four people who died in a plane crash in the Un Beach area, Tual city, Maluku, on Sunday morning.
'According to data we have obtained, the four people killed in the accident were persons on board. They comprised pilot Capt.Widhi Kurniawan and Epi, an aircraft engineer,' Dumatubun Airport head Amran Hamid said in Ambon on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
The two other passengers identified were Arif, who was said to be an official of a company, and his staff member, who was identified only as Jefry.
Amran said that the airport authorities were still waiting for further information about the victims and the company they belonged to. He said that preliminary data on the identities of the victims were obtained after Dumatubun authorities coordinated with officials at Sentani Airport in Jayapura, Papua. The four dead victims have been temporarily laid down at Tual Regional General Hospital.
The Piper PA-31 Navajo single propeller plane crashed at the Un Beach area in Tual city at 12:10 p.m. local time (10:10 a.m. Jakarta time).
Amran said bad weather was one of factors that might have caused the plane crash, as heavy rains with strong winds were hitting Southeast Maluku regency and Tual city when the incident occurred.
The exact cause of the incident remains unknown as an investigation still needs to be carried out by a special team from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT).
Dumatubun-Langgur Air Force Base commander Lt.Col.Ketut Adhiasa said the chartered aircraft owned by PT Intan Angkasa departed for Baubau from Sentani Airport after transiting in Dumatubun-Langgur Airport.
Prior to the accident, the pilot had contacted the airport control tower, asking for permission to land. Due to the bad weather, however, the plane was not able to land. The plane ended up circling above the airport before it crashed and burned. (ebf)
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