Plane crash kills 13 in mountainous Papua region
AN INDONESIAN air force transport plane has crashed into a mountain, killing all 13 people on board during a training exercise in the remote region of Papua.
Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency operational director Ivan Ahmad Riski Titus told Reuters that the Hercules C130 plane had taken off from the city of Timika before crashing near its destination of Wamena at around 6.15am local time on Sunday.
He said the crash site on Lisuwa mountain had been found and the bodies of the victims were being brought back to Wamena.
Air transport is commonly used in remote and mountainous Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province, where land travel is often impossible.
Air force chief of staff Agus Supriatna told MetroTV that bad weather was suspected to have caused the crash.
The Hercules was carrying food supplies from Timika to Wamena when it came down in mountainous terrain near to its destination.
The flight had left Timika at 05:35 (20:35 GMT Saturday) and was expected to land in Wamena at 06:13.
Indonesia has a patchy air safety record and President Joko Widodo promised a review of the country's aging air force fleet last year after a military transport plane crashed, killing more than 100 people.
In June 2015, the same type of plane belonging to the country's air force crashed near a residential neighbourhood shortly after taking off from Medan.
All 12 crew and 109 passengers on board were killed, along with 22 people on the ground.