Weather is believed to have played a role, one airline executive said

By Adam Carlson
August 16, 2015 09:55 AM
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty

An Indonesian plane and the 54 people on-board went missing Sunday afternoon, shortly before it was scheduled to land, CNN reports.

Officials are working to confirm witness accounts that it has crashed, according to The Guardian.

The Trigana Air Service flight departed from Jayapura at 2:22 p.m. local time, according to CNN, and was bound for Oksibil – but officials lost contact with it at about 2:55 p.m. local time.

The plane was carrying 44 adults, five children and five crew, according to CNN.

It made no distress call, a Transportation Ministry spokesperson told CNN, and there is not yet confirmation that the plane had crashed.

But police are working to verify witness reports that the plane, a ATR 42-300 twin turboprop, went down in the valley outside the Oksibil airport, according to The Guardian.

The search will resume Monday morning, according to the BBC.

Weather is suspected as a major element in the disappearance, a Trigana Air executive told the AFP.

“We strongly suspect it’s a weather issue,” director of operations Beni Sumaryanto said. “It is not overcapacity, as the plane could take 50 passengers.”

This is Trigana’s 11th lost aircraft since 1991, according to The Guardian, citing the Aviation Safety Network, and it has been on the European Union’s blacklist of banned carriers since 2007.

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