Jakarta. A 12-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash that claimed the lives of eight people in Papua's Bintang Mountain district on Saturday (11/08), the Directorate General of Air Transportation said in a statement on Sunday.
"Once we found the location of the crash on Sunday morning, the search and rescue team immediately went to recover all the victims. The plane was carrying nine people and all except one were killed in the incident," the statement said.
The plane belonging to Dimonim Air disappeared on Saturday afternoon during a 45-minute flight from Tanah Merah in Boven Digoel district to Oksibil in Bintang Mountain district.
The boy, identified by local media as Jumaidi, was immediately evacuated to the provincial capital Jayapura, where he was admitted to Bhayangkara Police Hospital for treatment.
Suara Pembaruan reported that poor weather conditions in Oksibil have so far prevented the authorities from evacuating the bodies of the deceased – two pilots and six passengers.
Light aircraft are often the only way to get around in remote parts of the country's easternmost province due to nonexistent infrastructure and the mountainous landscape, which can be extremely difficult to navigate.
However, challenging weather conditions pose an additional hazard to aircraft in the region, which has seen several other accidents in the recent past.
These include a plane crash in Wamena, Papua, last year that claimed the lives of five people, and the crash of a commercial aircraft operated by regional airline Trigana Air Service near Oksibil in Aug. 2015, which killed all 54 people on board.