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Indonesian Rescuers Recover Papua Plane Crash Bodies

  • VOA News

Ambulance workers wait to transport the bodies of the victims of the crashed Trigana Air Service flight at Sentani airport in Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, Aug. 18, 2015.

Ambulance workers wait to transport the bodies of the victims of the crashed Trigana Air Service flight at Sentani airport in Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, Aug. 18, 2015.

Indonesian officials said Tuesday there were no survivors from a plane that crashed Sunday in the eastern part of the country.

Search crews reached the crash site in Papua province for the first time Tuesday after being delayed by treacherous terrain, and reported that the plane was “totally destroyed.”

The officials said the rescuers located the bodies of 53 of the 54 people who were on board Trigana Air Flight 267 when it crashed shortly before it was due to land in Oksibil.

In addition to the passengers and crew, the plane was also carrying nearly $470,000 in government funds to be distributed to poor families.

Relatives of passengers on the missing Trigana Air Service flight listen to a National Policies Disaster Victim Identification official at Sentani airport in Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, Aug. 17, 2015.

Relatives of passengers on the missing Trigana Air Service flight listen to a National Policies Disaster Victim Identification official at Sentani airport in Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, Aug. 17, 2015.

Aviation safety

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo told reporters after the crash that he instructed the transportation ministry to improve aviation safety to prevent future crashes.

Indonesia’s aviation sector has been marred by several major incidents recently, including last December’s crash of an AirAsia plane that killed 162 people.

The Pacific archipelago nation, one of Asia’s fastest-growing airline markets, is struggling to find enough qualified pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers to ensure safety.

Trigana has suffered 14 serious incidents since beginning operations in 1991, and is on a list of Indonesian air carriers banned from European Union airspace.

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