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15 Bodies Recovered in Indonesian Plane Crash


People remove debris of a plane, that had crashed into the sea off Papua province, from the water in this still image taken from video, May 7, 2011

People remove debris of a plane, that had crashed into the sea off Papua province, from the water in this still image taken from video, May 7, 2011

Indonesian officials say a passenger plane has crashed into the sea in the country's east, killing all of the 27 people believed to be on board.

The plane crashed Saturday in the eastern province of West Papua. Officials said it had been trying to land in the town of Kaimana amid heavy rain and limited visibility.

Rescuers said they recovered 15 bodies from the plane, which was operated by the state-owned Merpati Nusantara Airlines.

The French news agency, AFP, quoted a navy officer involved in the search as saying the remaining passengers were trapped in the wreckage.

Authorities told media outlets it appeared there were no survivors.

The vast Indonesian archipelago relies heavily on air transport and has one of Asia's worst air safety records.

Merpati is one of a number of Indonesian airlines the European Union has banned from operating in European airspace.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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