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Plane carrying 9 people missing in eastern Indonesia

AFP  |  Jayapura(Indonesia) 

A small plane carrying nine people went missing today during a short flight in mountainous eastern Indonesia, authorities said, with a search and mission underway.

The Swiss-made Pilatus aircraft lost contact with air traffic control during what was supposed to be a flight of around 40 minutes in remote province, police said.

"Villagers in Okatem reported that they heard a loud roar from the plane followed by a big explosion," told AFP.

Search and teams have been deployed but it will take them up to three hours to reach the by foot, he added.

The plane was carrying seven passengers, including a child, and two crew.

It belonged to Dimonim Air, a private company operating charter flights in and around

relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has a poor record and has suffered several fatal crashes in recent years.

is a particularly difficult area to reach.

Five people died after a small plane crashed near Wamena in Papua province in July last year.

In August 2015, a commercial passenger aircraft operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana crashed in Papua due to bad weather, killing all 54 people on board.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 11 2018. 15:25 IST