Merpati plane crash in West Papua

Bad weather likely caused plane crash: Minister

Dina indrasafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 05/08/2011 9:30 AM | National

Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi said on Saturday that the crash of a Merpati plane in West Papua on Saturday was more likely caused by bad weather rather than technical glitches.

“Even if the plane is new, it’s no guarantee [that the flight will be accident free],” he said in Jakarta.

Freddy acknowledged that he rarely heard of any problems among Merpati’s operating planes, which lead to the assumption that it was more likely bad weather that caused the tragedy.

The Merpati MA 60 airplane, heading from Sorong to Nadire, crashed into the sea 500 meters from the runway of Utarung Kaimana Airport in West Papua.

Freddy said an investigation was still under way.

“The current explanation is that the plane’s wing broke and the plane was lost into the sea,” he said.

Of the 27 on board, there were 21 passengers, two pilots, two technicians and two cabin crew members. 18 of the passengers were adults, two were children and one was an infant.

Currently, the remains of 16 of the 27 have been found. (Swd)

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