Indonesian rescuers on Tuesday found the bodies of all 10 passengers and crew from a small plane that went missing in Indonesia last week.
The aircraft had lost contact while it was on its way from Masamba to Makassar, South Sulawesi, at 2:36 p.m. Central Indonesia Time (WITA), on Friday.
The search for the DHC-5 Twin Otter turboprop plane, owned by the Aviastar Mandiri airline, was again hindered by bad weather and rough terrain, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency. No distress signal was received.
Victims’ personal belongings also assisted in the identification process, such as Nurul’s wedding ring and Riza’s brooch, the North Luwu Transportation Agency said.
The Aviastar aircraft, whose passengers included three children, went missing Friday shortly after taking off from a remote airport on Sulawesi island en route for the city of Makassar to the south. “I myself have checked locations reported by the locals, but we found nothing”.
The searchers have “fielded four helicopters… two for the evacuation and another two on standby if needed”, he said. “Because of the dusk, we will return tomorrow to search for other victims and as well as the black boxes”.
The wreakage was found by villagers who had helped in the search and rescue operation.
The 1981 Canadian-made plane was acquired by Aviastar in January 2014 and underwent its most recent maintenance on September 15. The country’s airline market is expanding rapidly but struggles to obtain qualified pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers, and modern airport technology.