Trigana Air crash: search teams find all 54 bodies in wreckage

Indonesian authorities reveal the plane was 'completely destroyed' and no survivors have been found

Indonesia Plane Crash
Indonesia's Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan speaks to reporters after plane debris spotted
(Image credit: Romeo Gacad/Getty)

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of all 54 passengers and crew on board the Trigana Air flight that crashed in a remote region of Indonesia on Sunday.

Search teams yesterday reached the crash site in dense forest in a mountainous area of the Papua region and reported no survivors.

The airliner went missing during a short flight from Jayapura to Oksibil with 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew members on board. All are believed to be Indonesian nationals.

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There was also 6.5 billion rupiah (£300,000) in government cash on board the flight that was due to be distributed as aid. Authorities have yet to confirm if the money has been recovered.

The plane lost contact with air traffic control 30 minutes into the flight. No distress call was made and authorities believe bad weather was to blame for the crash.

Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told AFP that the plane had been completely destroyed.

"Everything was in pieces and part of the plane is burnt," he said. "All the bodies were burned and difficult to identify."

The bodies will now be taken back to the provincial capital for identification, reports Sky News.

The plane's black box data recorder has also been recovered and will help investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

Trigana Air crash: missing plane debris 'seen in mountain area'

17 August

Rescuers are trying to get to a remote mountainous area in Indonesia's Papua region where a missing plane carrying 54 people is believed to have crashed.

The Trigana Air Service plane lost contact with air traffic control yesterday afternoon while flying south from the provincial capital Jayapura to the town of Oksibil.

The ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop aircraft was said to be carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew members, as well as nearly half a million dollars in government cash due to be distributed to poor families. Officials have said that all of those on board were Indonesian.

Villagers not far from Oksibil reported seeing a plane crash into a mountain and today the transport ministry confirmed that a search plane had spotted wreckage engulfed in smoke.

A second plane has been sent to the area to verify the findings, while a search team is heading by foot to the apparent crash site.

Malaysia's New Straits Times says the team will have to battle through "dense, virgin forest" to reach the site, which is at an altitude of about 2,600 metres. A Papua military spokesman said: "The area is steep and is covered by dense forests with thick moss. There is no road, no access at all, and our team have to go through this virgin forest to reach the location."

Trigana Air Service, which is banned from flying in European Union airspace, has said the crash is likely to have been brought on by bad weather, which has caused several accidents in recent years. In 2007, the European Commission added Trigana to its list of airlines banned "because they are found to be unsafe and/or they are not sufficiently overseen by their authorities".

Indonesia has a patchy aviation safety record. Recent major incidents include the crash of an AirAsia plane in December that resulted in the loss of 162 lives.

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