Indonesian aircraft carrying 54 people missing in Papua, search agency says

Photo: A Trigana Airlines ATR 42 at Labuan Bajo's Komodo Airport in 2008. (Wikipedia: YSSYguy, file photo CC BY-SA 3.0)

An Indonesian aircraft carrying 54 people is missing in the Papua region, the country’s search and rescue agency says.

The Trigana Airlines ATR 42 aircraft was carrying 44 adults, two children, three toddlers and five crew, the BASARNAS agency said in a tweet.

The plane was flying between Jayapura’s Sentani Airport and Oksibil, due south of Jayapura, the capital of Papua province.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane at 2:55pm local time (3:55pm AEST), BASARNAS said.

Transport ministry spokesman JA Barata said the turboprop plane was due to arrive at Oksibil airport just after 3:00pm local time.

“We are not sure what happened to the plane yet and we are coordinating with local authorities,” he said.

“The weather is currently very bad there, it’s very dark and cloudy.

“It’s not conducive for a search. The area is mountainous.”