Thursday 26 May 2022
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Indonesian police plane crashes near Batam, 15 missing

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Jakarta: An M-28 Skytruck plane operated by police in Indonesia crashed into the sea near the island of Batam today. Out of the 15 on board missing, some bodies have been recovered in parts.

File photo of a Polish M-28 Skytruck. [Image: Krammielec]

The domestic flight from Pangkal Pinang on Bangka to Batam lost contact with Singaporean air traffic control at 10:22 Batam local time; Singapore has controlled some Indonesian airspace since the 1940s. Some fishermen located wreckage and body parts off the coast of Kabupaten Lingga in the Riau Islands which also include Batam.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore activated its Crisis Management Centre and has supplied a Super Puma and a Fokker 50plane for search and rescue. Two Singaporean ships are on standby awaiting Indonesian clearance. Three Indonesian naval ships and two patrol boats are also involved.

Basarnas, the Indonesian search and rescue authority, says a 200 square-nautical-mile (about 700 square km) area is being searched. Items recovered thus far include seats, luggage, and documents. Basarnas head Bambang Soelistyo said survivors were possible.

Sea divers have been deployed to the assumed crash site, too.

On 4 December, authorities recovered body parts and debris in waters where the plane carrying police went missing, raising fears over the fate of the flight’s passengers and crew.

Airplane seats and suitcases along with body parts were recovered by fishermen off Riau Islands Saturday afternoon.

Last week, an Indonesian army had crashed on Borneo island leaving 3 crew dead, while in November a plane had crashed in Papua region killing 4.

Forensic experts are working to identify the body parts recovered from the area where villagers had earlier retrieved items believed to belong to the passengers of the plane. “The identification process is still ongoing,” said Djarot Wibowo, chief of the police forensic team in Riau Islands Province, which covers Batam.

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence and other agencies

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