Bell-412 helicopter crash: Rescuers recover three bodies

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Search and Rescue Team on Monday recovered bodies of three passengers of the Indonesian Army helicopter, Bell-412, which crashed in the mountainous forest in Malinau District, North Kalimantan Province, on Thursday (Nov 24).

"The bodies were evacuated at around 01:00 pm Central Indonesian Time (GMT+8)," Chief of Public Information Office of the Indonesian Army (TNI AD), Brigadier General M Sabrar Fadhilah, said here on Monday.

The three bodies, identified as those of First Lieutenant Captain Ginas Sasmita Aji, First Sergeant Bayu Sadeli, and Praka Suyanto, were taken to the Indonesian Navy Hospital (RSAL) of Tarakan.

On Tuesday, the bodies will be sent to the respective families for burial. First Lieutenant Captain Ginas Sasmita Aji will be buried in Yogyakarta, First Sergeant Bayu Sadeli in Dumai, Riau, and Praka Suyanto in Madiun, East Java.

The bodies were found in the mountainous forest at a location five kilometers from Long Sulit Village, Krayan Subdistrict, Malinau District.

Meanwhile, the rescue team is still searching for First Lieutenant Captain Yohanes Saputra.

"The Indonesian Army has lost some of its best men during the logistic support mission and security operation along the border in Long Bawan Village," Fadhilah noted.

Previously, several military aircraft such as an NAS 332 Super Puma helicopter, a CN 235 airplane and Cassa Al AL/U 622 had been deployed to help the search operation from air along with AT 802 airplane of Pelita Air Service and C 208 of the Susi Air.

The Bell-412 helicopter, considered airworthy, was reported to have lost contact at 11:29 am local time (GMT+8), 8 miles north from Malinau at 2,500 feet.

Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo said the twin engine Bell-412 helicopter was in use since 2013. The Indonesian military was using it to support the logistic supply of troops along the Indonesia-Malaysia border.

The Bell 412 is a twin-engine utility helicopter of the Huey family, manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is an updated version of Bell 212, with the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor.(*)

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