Lake Toba in North Sumatra is set to host international race Toba Cross Run 2017, on Oct. 28. (JG Photo/Nadia Bintoro)

Survivor Found From Helicopter Crash in Lake Toba


OCTOBER 13, 2015

Medan. An unidentified man has survived a helicopter crash in North Sumatra's Lake Toba, but the other people on board remain missing, officials said on Tuesday.

The man was found among water hyacinths near the banks of Lake Toba in the Onang Runggu subdistrict of Samosir.

“We don't know his name yet. But we can say for sure the victim is one of the passengers of the helicopter that lost contact on Sunday,” North Sumatra Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Helfi Assegaf said in Medan on Tuesday.

The man was rushed to a nearby community health center, or Puskesmas, as the nearest hospital is hours away.

Samosir Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Budi Haryanto said the victim had not been able to talk.

“But he used hand gestures ... telling officers that four other passengers remain in the waters of Lake Toba,” Budi said.

Helfi added officers were now focused their search around the location where the man was found, hoping to also quickly locate those still missing.

“We hope we will find other survivors,” he said.

The chartered EC 130 Eurocopter, operated by Penerbangan Angkasa Semesta, went missing with five people on board — including one pilot and a technician — after departing from Siparhaman village in the western part of Lake Toba, on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. It was heading for Kualanamu Airport on the outskirts of Medan.

Residents reported seeing a helicopter flying low over the lake before they heard the sound of a crash.

The incident comes only a week after a Twin Otter turboprop plane operated by Aviastar crashed into the rough terrain of Mount Latimojong, Luwu District, South Sulawesi.

All 10 people on board that plane -- seven passengers and three crew members -- were killed.