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Jakarta Post

Evacuation delayed due to bad weather

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 18, 2015   /  07:17 pm

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said the bodies of 54 people from a Trigana Air plane that crashed in Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang regency, Papua, on Sunday had not yet been evacuated due to bad weather.

'€œCurrently, all of the bodies have been put into corpse bags and are ready to be evacuated from the crash site; however, thick fog has covered the location, halting the evacuation process,'€ said Basarnas chief Air Marshal FHB Sulistyo at the Jayapura Air Force Base on Tuesday.

He said the evacuation should be carried out on Wednesday. Following a delay in the evacuation, he added, the SAR team, comprised of 58 personnel, would spend the night on site. '€œThey will evacuate the bodies tomorrow if the weather is good,'€ said Sulistyo.

He further explained that the SAR team would evacuate the bodies by air as it would be more time efficient.

'€œIf they evacuate the bodies by land, it will take almost four hours for them to reach the crash site in Oksibil; thus, it will be faster and easier for the SAR team to evacuate the victims with a helicopter,'€ said Sulistyo.

He said two helicopters had been readied at Oksibil Airport for the evacuation process. '€œA Bell helicopter from Freeport'€™s SAR team and an MI helicopter from the Indonesian Army are on stand by Oksibil Airport for the evacuation tomorrow,'€ said Sulistyo.

Basarnas confirmed on Monday that all Trigana Air passengers and crew members died in the incident after it received a report from a SAR team dispatched to the crash site from a Airfast Bell helicopter provided by mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia. (ebf)(+++)

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