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Officials: Searchers Find Wreckage Believed to be Crashed Indonesian Plane


Relatives of passengers on the missing Trigana Air Service flight stand in front of its closed offices at Sentani airport in Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, Aug. 16, 2015.

The wreckage of what is believed to be an Indonesian passenger plane with 54 people aboard has been found in the rugged eastern province of Papua. The plane crashed Sunday while flying through bad weather.

Officials said a search plane spotted the plane debris Monday and that rescue teams were working to get to the site.

It was unclear if anyone survived.

Trigana Air Flight 267 lost contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes after takeoff Sunday from Sentani airport in the provincial capital, Jayapura. The plane was on what is normally a 50-minute flight to the city of Oksibil.

Forty-four adult passengers, five children and five crew members were on the turboprop plane, according to aviation officials.

Trigana sent another aircraft to trace the flight path of the missing plane minutes after it failed to land, but Air Operations Director Beni Sumaryanto said nothing was spotted because of bad weather.

Trigana operates domestically in Indonesia. It has suffered 14 serious incidents since beginning operations in 1991 and is on a blacklist of carriers banned from European Union airspace.

The ATR 42-300 twin turboprop that went missing had several safety problems since it began operations more than 20 years ago, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

VOA's Indonesian service contributed to this report. Some material for this report came from Reuters and AP.