The search for the MI 17 helicopter, which disappeared on Friday, continues around the Mol and Aprok mountains near Jayapura, Papua.
“We are currently searching over ground and air, with a helicopter unit dispatched as well,” Lt. Col. Chandra Dianto of the Jayawijaya Military Command said on Friday as quoted by Antara.
The search was halted on Sunday afternoon and was expected to be continued the next day.
The ground team had climbed the Mol and Aprok mountains and reached 762 meters above sea level.
Chandra also said that the air search had covered the route the MI 17 had used to return from Oksibil.
“There’s no sign of the MI 17 as of now,” Chandra added.
The local air traffic control lost contact with the MI 17 helicopter at the same time as a cumulonimbus cloud suddenly appeared over the district of Oksibil in the Bintang Mountains, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), region V, of Jayapura.
A cumulonimbus cloud is considered dangerous as it possesses elements that could disrupt flights.
The MI 17, registration number HA-5138, carried 12 passengers and air crew who were assigned to Okibab prior to the incident. The flight was carrying supplies for on-duty soldiers in the region. (dmy)