Helicopter with 12 people on board gets missing

The spokesperson of the Indonesia military command in Papua on Friday, said an Indonesian military helicopter with 12 people on board had lost contact during its flight from Oksibil to Jayapura.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Papua’s Cendrawasih Military Command Headquarters Spokesman, M. Aidi, said efforts to locate the missing helicopter were underway.

He said that the last contact with the helicopter was at 11.49 a.m. Eastern Indonesian Time (WIT) when the helicopter was at six nautical miles heading north at a height of 7,800 feet.

“The army’s Mi-17 helicopter carried seven crew members and five military personnel, was on its mission to deliver supplies to a border area in Okbibab district in Papua’s Jaya Wijaya Regency,’’ Aidi said.

According to him, the helicopter departed from the higher ground of Oksibil at 11.44 a.m. WIT and was supposed to land in Jayapura’s Sentani at 13.11 p.m. WIT.

“We are yet to get the exact location of the helicopter so far.

“Search efforts are underway at present, coordinated with Papua search and rescue agency.

“We also engaged our personnel around the area to find information on the helicopter’s whereabouts,’’ he said.

The spokesman said the weather was reported to be in good condition with visibility of 6-7 kilometres during the helicopter’s airborne time.

He added that the national meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG), said that extreme weather potentially occurred in several spots between Oksibil and Sentani airport during the flight time.

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