Indonesian police plane crashes near Batam, fifteen missing

Saturday, December 3, 2016

An M-28 Skytruck plane operated by police in Indonesia crashed into the sea near the island of Batam today. The fifteen on board are missing.

File photo of a Polish M-28 Skytruck.
Image: Krammielec.

The domestic flight from Pangkal Pinang on Bangka to Batam lost contact with Singaporean air traffic control at 10:22 Batam local time; Singapore has controlled some Indonesian airspace since the 1940s. Fisherman have located wreckage and body parts off the coast of Kabupaten Lingga in the Riau Islands which also include Batam.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore activated its Crisis Management Centre and has supplied a Super Puma helicopter and a Fokker 50 plane for search and rescue. Two Singaporean ships are on standby awaiting Indonesian clearance. Three Indonesian naval ships and two patrol boats are also involved.

Basarnas, the Indonesian search and rescue authority, says a 200 square-nautical-mile (about 700 square km) area is being searched. Items recovered thus far include seats, luggage, and documents. Basarnas head Bambang Soelistyo said survivors were possible.