Body parts from missing plane found near Riau Islands

  • ASEAN+
  • Monday, 05 Dec 2016

Tragic discovery: Police officers from the search and rescue team carrying a body bag which also contained debris and belongings recovered from the aircraft. — Reuters

JAKARTA: Authorities have recovered body parts and debris in waters where an Indonesian plane carrying police went missing, officials said, raising fears over the fate of the flight’s passengers and crew.

The M28 Skytruck plane carrying 13 people lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday during a flight from Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Belitung province to Batam in the Riau Islands province in western Indonesia.

Airplane seats and suitcases along with body parts were recovered by fishermen off Riau Islands on Saturday afternoon, rescue officials said yesterday.

“We sent three body bags last night, the body parts were not intact ... they are now in the Bhayangkara hospital in Batam,” said Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.

He added that the search and rescue efforts in the area off the islands would continue for another week.

Indonesia has a poor aviation safety record and has experienced several air disasters recently.

But Indonesia’s police insisted yesterday that the plane was in good condition and the pilot was experienced.

It was carrying five crew and eight passengers.

Last week, an Indonesian army helicopter crashed on Borneo island leaving three crew dead, while in November a cargo plane crashed in Papua region killing four. — AFP

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