Rescuers return to Timika in Papua after searching for the missing Rimbun Air plane between Mimika and Puncak districts. (Photo courtesy of Basarnas)

No Signs Yet of Aircraft With 1.7 Tons of Rice on Board Missing in Papua


SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

Jakarta. Rescue workers had yet to find by Friday afternoon the plane operated by Rimbun Air that went missing in Papua on Wednesday.

The DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 twin-engine utility aircraft was transporting 1.7 metric tons of rice to Illaga in Puncak district from Timika in Mimika district on Wednesday morning when air controllers lost contact with it.

The plane with a crew of four departed from Timika at 10.30 a.m. local time and was expected to arrive at Illaga Airport at 11.10 a.m.

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), assisted by members of the police and military, started a search operation at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, but has yet to find any signs of the missing aircraft.

"No result still from the search today," Basarnas spokesman Yusuf Latif told the Jakarta Globe on Friday.

Searchers have been focusing on highlands in the area where the plane last made contact with air traffic controllers.

It is common to transport goods and commodities by air in Papua due to the lack of road infrastructure.