Photos of the site show a clearing in thick forest that appears to be fire-blackened and scattered with debris.
The plane was carrying 54 people -- 49 passengers and five crew -- and officials said all the bodies had been found among the wreckage. Attempts were now being made to remove the dead from the mountainous site, but the weather was creating problems.
“The challenge is the weather, it changes from good to bad very fast and it’s very cold now,” Captain Beni Sumaryanto, Trigana Air’s service director of operations, told AFP. Rescuers were now searching for the plane’s flight data recorders, or “black boxes”, which could shed light on what caused the twin-turboprop plane to crash, Soelistyo said.
There was no immediate news on the fate of 6.5 billion rupiah ($470,000) that were being transported by the plane in cash, intended for distribution to poor families as social assistance funds. A team of about 100 rescuers, including personnel from the military, police and search and rescue agency, were at the crash site, the transport ministry said.
The disaster is just the latest air accident in Indonesia, which has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered major disasters in recent months, including the crash of an AirAsia plane in December with the loss of 162 lives.
The Trigana plane lost contact with air traffic control about 10 minutes before reaching its remote destination Oksibil, soon after the crew requested permission to start descending in heavy cloud and rain to land.
Officials suspect bad weather may have caused the crash.
Last week a Cessna propeller plane crashed in Papua’s Yahukimo district, killing one person and seriously injuring the five others on board. Officials suspect that crash was also caused by bad weather.
Trigana Air, a small domestic Indonesian airline, has experienced a string of serious incidents and is banned from flying in European Union airspace.
In June, an Indonesian military plane crashed into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Medan, exploding in a fireball and killing 142 people.
The aviation sector in Indonesia is expanding fast but airlines are struggling to find enough well-trained personnel to keep up with the rapid growth in the archipelago of more than 17,000 islands.