Search underway as plane vanishes before landing in Indonesia's Papua province

Posted by On 8:27 PM

Search underway as plane vanishes before landing in Indonesia's Papua province

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The mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has captured the imagination of the internet and have given birth to some wild theories of what really happened to it.

A plane has gone missing in Indonesia's Papua province. (File image) Picture: iStockSource:istock

THERE are fears for passengers and crew on board a light aircraft that vanished before it was due to land in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua.

The Dimonim Air plane with two pilots and seven passe ngers on board, including a child, was on a short commercial flight from Tanah Merah in Boven Digul district to Oksibil, near the border with Papua New Guinea.

The Pilatus PC-6 Porter lost contact with the control tower in Oksibil shortly before it was due to land on Saturday afternoon local time.

Bintang regency police chief Michael Mumbunan said a search and rescue mission was underway after villagers in nearby Okatem heard loud noises and an explosion.

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency work to locate the missing Swiss-made Pilatus aircraft. Picture: National Search and Rescue Agency/AFP

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency work to locate the missing Swiss-made Pilatus aircraft. Picture: National Search and Rescue Agency/AFPSource:AFP

“Villagers in Okatem reported that they heard a loud roar from the plane followed by a big explosio n,” he told AFP.

He said it could take hours to find a possible crash site in the mountainous region as rescuers were searching by foot.

A passenger manifest has revealed a child was among the seven passengers on the missing flight, which was meant to take only about 42 minutes.

The plane was flying from Tanah Merah north to Oksibil in Indonesia's Papua province, close to the border with Papua New Guinea. Picture: Google Maps

The plane was flying from Tanah Merah north to Oksibil in Indonesia's Papua province, close to the border with Papua New Guinea. Picture: Google MapsSource:Supplied

Dimonim Air is a private company that operates charter flights around Papua.

According to AP, flying is a necessary way to travel through the mountainous and jungle-clad provinces of Papua and West Papua, however the region has been plagued with a recent bad history of transport accidents due to overcrowding, ageing infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.

In July last year, five people were killed when a small plane crashed near Wamena in Papua.

In August 2015, 54 people died when a commercial passenger aircraft operated by Indonesian airline Trigana crashed in Papua due to bad weather.

Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia

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