Indonesian rescue crews have found the wreckage of a Trigana Air Service twin-turboprop that was carrying 54 passengers and crew when it crashed in Papua province over the weekend.
The crews found no survivors, but they did recover the plane’s black boxes, which could provide a clue as to why the aircraft crashed en route from the provincial capital of Jayapura to the city of Oksibil, some 175 miles south.
” ‘The plane has crashed, it is completely destroyed,’ Bambang Soelistyo, head of the country’s search and rescue agency, said of the ATR 42-300 plane after teams reached the site in the morning.
” ‘Everything was in pieces and part of the plane is burnt.’
“It is just the latest air accident in Indonesia, which has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered major disasters in recent months, including the crash of an AirAsia plane in December with the loss of 162 lives.”
Maj. Gen. Heronimus Guru said the terrain could have factored into the crash, Reuters reports.
“There’s a possibility the aircraft hit a peak and then fell into a ravine, because the place that it was found in is steep,” he said.
Guru added that rescue crews had started putting remains in body bags.
The plane was carrying $468,750 in cash to be given out to poor people as government fuel aid. The Associated Press, citing Soelistyo, reports that “rescuers have found the money, which was partly scorched, and will hand it over to the authorities.”