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Jakarta Post

Weather delays rescue of helicopter crew that made emergency landing in Papua

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 18, 2020   /   06:40 pm
Weather delays rescue of helicopter crew that made emergency landing in Papua A photo released by the Papua Police on Friday shows a Bell 212 helicopter owned by PT National Utility Helicopters inside the white circle as it made an emergency landing in a forest area in Paniai regency in Papua. The helicopter was first reported missing after it departed from Nabire Airport heading to Baya Biru on Thursday to deliver food supplies. (Kompas.com/Papua Police)

Bad weather and difficult terrain are still preventing a joint rescue team from rescuing the crew of a Bell 212 helicopter that made an emergency landing in Paniai regency after it was reported missing several hours after taking off from Nabire Airport in Papua on Thursday.

Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. A.M. Kamal said a Search and Rescue (SAR) team had managed to locate the helicopter on Friday in a forest in Paniai.

"The SAR team has found them. Apparently they made an emergency landing in a river basin," Kamal said on Friday as reported by kompas.com.

"The pilot, copilot and crew are safe. We're trying to evacuate the victims but rescue efforts have been hampered by [bad weather]," he added.

Kamal further said the difficult terrain in the forest also hampered the process as the SAR team had not yet been able to find a safe location to land.

Read also: Bodies of 12 victims on missing Mi-17 Army helicopter found in Papua

The helicopter took off from Nabire Airport at 10:47 a.m. local time on Thursday, heading to the Baya Biru area to deliver food supplies. However, the helicopter lost contact with air traffic control at 1:30 p.m.

The helicopter, belonging to PT National Utility Helicopters (NUH), was carrying three people, Capt. Endy Nawalaga as the pilot, Capt. Erik Kurniawan as the copilot, and crew member M. Aswar Jamal.

Kamal said the rescue team was currently asking for mining giant PT Freeport's SAR team to help rescue the helicopter crew.

"We're asking for help from the Freeport SAR team as they have better equipment," he said. (nal)