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Wreckage of Indonesian cargo plane found, no survivors

[JAKARTA] An Indonesian search team on Tuesday found the wreckage of a cargo plane along with the bodies of four crew members in a mountainous part of the country, a government official said.

The Caribou plane lost contact Monday with air traffic control during what was supposed to be a short flight in the remote eastern province of Papua, prompting a search and rescue mission in the rugged area.

"The aircraft was destroyed," transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told AFP, adding the bodies had been removed from the crash site.

Indonesia has a poor aviation safety record and Papua is a particularly problematic place to fly due to its mountainous terrain and frequent poor weather.

The Caribou set off from the city of Timika on Monday at 7.57am (2257 GMT Sunday) and was headed to Ilaga, a farming community located in the mountains, according to the transport ministry.

The plane contacted air traffic control in Ilaga at 8.23am saying that it was due to land in a few minutes but never arrived.

Officials said the aircraft, reportedly carrying construction materials, sent an emergency signal before losing contact.

The plane is part of the Caribou DHC-4 family of cargo aircraft which only need a small space for takeoff and landing.

A passenger plane operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana crashed in the Papua region in bad weather in August last year, killing all 54 passengers and crew aboard.


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