Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Rescuers have found the debris of the National Polices M28 Skytruck airplane that crashed in the waters off Riau Islands.

Rescuers had, on Monday, recovered debris such as passenger seats and luggage, Police Chief of Riau Islands Brigadier General Sam Budigusdian said here on Tuesday.

"The debris has been taken to Hang Nadim Airport of Batam," Budigusdian said.

During the search operation, the authority will keep the debris in the local airport before handing it over to the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta.

The police plane departed from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang in the Sumatran province of Bangka-Belitung Islands with 16 people on board.

Three passengers disembarked at Pangkal Pinang while the remaining 13 continued the flight to Batam, Riau Islands. The plane crashed enroute to Batam on Saturday (Dec 3).

All the passengers on board, including the crew members, were policemen.

The plane was reported to lose contact above the northern waters of Lingga District, Riau Islands Province.

The search operation, being led by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), involves the use of high technology devices to find both debris and passengers of the ill-fated plane.

The joint task force comprises the Basarnas, the coast guard, navy as well as the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) in Singapore.

"The SAR team is working hard in the search operation. We have deployed nine additional divers to the search area," Budigusdian said.

A body was recovered late on Saturday and brought to Batam for further identification.

The local authority reported that body parts have been found and sent in several bags to the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Batam for identification.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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