A Trigana Air Service ATR 42-300 apparently crashed on Sunday as it was approaching its destination in the town of Oksibil in the Papua province of Indonesia, various media reported. The pilot apparently did not make a distress call before the plane went missing.
“Smoke was still billowing from the wreckage when it was spotted by a plane search,” USA Today quoted Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, as saying.
The 27-year-old plane was flying from Jayapura with 49 passengers and five crew members on board, and it is not clear if there are any survivors, reports indicate. Four people on board the plane were carrying $470,000 in assistance for the poor in the area, NBC reported.
“The area is steep and is covered by dense forests,” The Telegraph quoted Teguh Pudji Rahardjo, a military spokesman, as saying. “There is no road, no access at all.”
Because the airline lacks proper oversight, Trigana Air Service has been banned from flying in European airspace since 2007, CNN reported.
The Trigana Air Service crash is the latest in a string of air disasters in Indonesia, according to various reports.