Light plane with 9 people aboard reported missing in Papua

JAYAPURA, Indonesia (AP) — A light aircraft with nine people on board has been reported missing in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua.

Dimonin Air's Pilatus PC-6 Porter plane was on an estimated 42-minute flight Saturday from Tanah Merah in Boven Digul district to Oksibil, the district capital of Pegunungan Bintang.

Local police chief Lt. Col. Michael Mumbunan says the plane with two pilots and seven passengers aboard took off from Tanah Merah at 1:42 p.m. local time and was scheduled arrive at 2:20 p.m.

He said the plane lost contact after communicating with the control tower in Oksibil and being directed to a runway for landing.

Airplanes are the only practical way of accessing many areas in the mountainous and jungle-clad easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.