Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Col. Muhamad Aidi. (Antara News Papua/Evarukdijati)

Indonesian Army Helicopter Carrying 12 People Reported Missing in Papua


JUNE 28, 2019

Jakarta. An Army helicopter with 12 people on board lost contact with air traffic controller on Friday morning, a few minutes after taking off from Oksibil in Papua's Bintang Mountain district, an official said.

The type MI 17 helicopter with seven crew was on its way to Sentani Airport in the provincial capital of Jayapura to drop off five replacement soldiers, Col. Muhammad Aidi, a spokesman for the local Cendrawasih Military Command, told Metro TV.

"We're still searching for the helicopter. We stopped the search around 9 p.m. [Eastern Indonesia Time] due to heavy rains, but I just received information that it has been resumed," the spokesman said.

The transport chopper lost contact with the Oksibil Airport tower at 11.40 a.m. when it was at an altitude of 7,888 feet.

The soldiers on board were Second Sergeant Ikrar Setya Nainggolan, Private Yanuarius Loe, Private Risno, Second Private Sujono Kaimuddin, Second Private Tegar Hadi Sentana, Capt. Aris, Capt. Bambang, First Lieut. Ahwar, Head Sergeant Suriyatna, Sergeant Dita, Head Private Dwi Purnomo and Private Asharul.

"They were expected to arrive [in Sentani] at 13.11 p.m. Up until now we still don't know what happened to the helicopter," Col. Muhammad said.