27 killed in Indonesia plane crash

“I can confirm that all the passengers were killed when the plane exploded as it crashed into the sea,” a navy officer involved in the search said.

“The aircraft was smashed to pieces... We found 15 bodies floating on the water and the other passengers are trapped inside the wreckage.” A transport ministry spokesman earlier said there were 27 people—21 passengers and six crew—on board the Merpati Nusantara airlines MA-60 aircraft.

The twin turbo-prop plane took off from Sorong city in West Papua province for Kaimana district about 400 kilometres to the south, he said.

The navy official, Gunawan, said that about 10 navy divers had tried to find other passengers inside the wreckage, which had sunk about six kilometres deep. “We had difficulties locating them due to strong currents and limited equipment,” he said.

Heavy rain was pouring down when the accident happened around midday, he said.
Airline officials were unable to comment on the chronology of the accident or the exact number of passengers.

“The weather was bad as there was heavy rainfall, which shortened the (pilot’s) range of vision. It was also very dark. Thus, the airplane did not reach the runway,” the director general at the Ministry of Air Transportation, Herry Bakti, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.

Those killed included two children and a baby, the Jakarta Globe reported.

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