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Indonesian plane carrying 10 loses contact in Sulawesi: officials

[JAKARTA] An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 10 people lost contact with air traffic control during a flight in Sulawesi island of Indonesia on Friday, officials said.

The head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency confirmed an Aviastar Twin Otter DHC-6 aircraft lost contact shortly after taking off from the remote Masamba airport in North Luwu to the provincial capital Makassar at 2:29 pm (0629 GMT).

"We are still waiting for more detailed information but me and my team are flying to Masamba tonight," agency chief Bambang Sulistyo told AFP.

Sulistyo said the rescue efforts were likely to be carried out on Saturday morning.

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"It's already dark now, but things can change depending on the latest development," he added.

The plane was carrying four adults, three children and three crew and was scheduled to arrive in Makassar one hour after taking off.

Abdul Munir, general manager of Makassar airport, told TVOne in a live interview the plane lost contact eight minutes after it took off.

Aviastar Mandiri is an Indonesian domestic passenger airline.

The country has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered major disasters in recent months, including a plane which crashed on a remote mountain in Oksibil Papua in August, killing all 54 people onboard.