Regional military chief leads search for MI 17

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Chief of the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command Major General Joshua Sembiring led the search Saturday for the Indonesian Army's MI-17 helicopter that has been missing since June 28 on its flight from Oksibil to Jayapura. "It is true that the chief of the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command aboard the Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN 235, led the search today. The aircraft flew over Lereh," Commander of the Silas Papare Airbase Commodore Tri Bowo said.

During the search, the SAR team could find no clue of the missing helicopter as fog shrouded the area, he said.

"The CN 235 plane flew over the area twice before the pilot decided to return to the Silas Papare Airbase," he said.

The aerial search for the missing helicopter was conducted from Oksibil and Sentani, he said.

However, the SAR team which departed from Oksibi could not conduct the aerial search because of bad weather, he said.

"The search will be continued on Sunday, July 7, and the SAR team will hopefully find a clue," he said.

The MI-17 helicopter went missing on June 28, at around 11:49 a.m. local time.

It was carrying 12 passengers and crew members on board, who had earlier flown to Okbibab to deliver logistics to soldiers serving in the area.

The crew members aboard the helicopter were pilots CPN Captain Aris and CPN Lieutenant Bambang, co-pilot First Lieutenant CPN Ahwar, Head Sergeant Suriyatna, Sergeant Dita, Head Private Dwi Purnomo, and Private Aharul.

The passengers, who were members of the Battalion 725/WRG, comprised Second Sergeant Ikrar Setya Nainggolan, Private Yanuarius Loe, Private Risno, Second Private Sujono Kaimuddin, and Second Private Tegar Hadi Sentana.

Source: Antara News

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