Timika, Papua The 1710 Mimika district military command’s personnel have continued their search for a soldier gone missing after falling into a river having strong currents in Tsinga Village, Tembagapura Sub-district, Papua Province, on January 12, 2021.
“We continue our search efforts to locate the missing soldier,” Commander of the 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Yoga Chaya Prasetya was quoted by ANTARA as saying here, Friday.
The commander of 756 WMS/Infantry Battalion’s task force visited Timika, the capital of Mimika District, on Thursday to elaborate on the chronology of events in the accident that occurred during a routine patrol on the district’s highland on January 12.
The missing soldier is identified as Private-1 Kurniawan. He belongs to the task force’s patrol unit, he remarked.
On January 12, Kurniawan and several other soldiers conducted a routine patrol near Tsinga Village, located to the east of Tembagapura Town, he noted.
While crossing a stiff and slippery wooden bridge, Kurniawan slid and fell into the village’s river having strong currents. He attempted to grab on to a rattan rope but failed to climb, and instead, fell into the river, Prasetya remarked.
Kurniawan was seen attempting to swim, and his colleagues rushed toward him to offer help. However, they failed to catch him. The river’s strong currents swallowed him and he drowned and was swept away, he stated.
Another member of the Indonesian army was also declared missing in action during a routine patrol in Utikini Village, Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, on November 17, 2020.
Search efforts are being undertaken to locate him. The Indonesian military (TNI) had also requested the local community and religious leaders in the villages of Banti and Utikini Lama to join the search for Private-2 Hengki Sumarlin Zai.
Private-2 Zai was found missing soon after partaking in a routine patrol with 14 other TNI soldiers along the Kabur riverbank in Utikini Village.
During the patrol, Zai was assigned as the front surveillance officer. He and nine other soldiers were patrolling the riverbank, while the remaining soldiers were stationed around the riverbank.
While walking near the riverbank, Zai and his team came across a traditional hut, locally called “honai”, and spotted a man running away from it. The man had apparently seen the soldiers approach the hut.
Zai and his colleagues chased the man. After the soldiers regrouped at the end of the patrol, Zai was found missing.
The missing soldier was wearing a military uniform, bulletproof vest, and helmet. He was also carrying an SS2 V4 rifle, bearing the registration number 01-4296.
Source: Antara News