Indonesia plane crash: 12-year-old boy is only survivor after aircraft plunges into Papua jungle

Eight dead after pilots lose contact with control tower

Tom Embury-Dennis@tomemburyd
Sunday 12 August 2018 15:28
Site of plane crash in remote Papua region in Indonesia
Site of plane crash in remote Papua region in Indonesia

A 12-year-old boy is the only survivor from a plane crash that left eight people dead in a mountainous region of Indonesia.

The light commercial plane was reported missing on Saturday during a 45 minute flight over the country's easternmost province of Papua.

The local army chief said the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-6 Porter crashed near Oksabil airport, which is in the district capital of Pegunungan Bintang, bordering Papua New Guinea.

Colonel Jonathan Binsar Sianipar said the boy, identified only as Jumaidi, was the only passenger found alive and was evacuated to an Oksibil hospital. A statement from the army said the boy was conscious but gave no other details.

The plane, with two pilots and seven passengers, lost contact after communicating with the control tower in Oksibil just before it was due to land on Saturday afternoon, said local police chief lieutenant colonel Michael Mumbunan.

The cause of the crash was not clear.

Planes are the only practical way of accessing many areas in the mountainous and jungle-clad easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, ageing infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.

Additional reporting by AP

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