Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Bodies of passengers who were killed in the M-28 Skytruck police airplane crash on December 3 were sent to Jakarta to be returned to their families on Friday.

"There are 11 coffins sent from Batam to Air Police Directorate Headquarters in Pondok Cabe through Soekarno-Hatta Airport," Chief of Riau Islands Police Brigadier General Sam Budigusdian said after leading the dispatch ceremony of the victims at the Bhayangkara Hospital in Nongsa, Batam, on Friday.

Eight bodies were identified by the Disaster Victim Identification Team and stored in eight coffins, while the properties of the victims, such as uniforms, were placed in the other three coffins.

The eight passengers were identified as First Brigadier Eri Dwi Perdana, Chief Brigadier Suwarno, Commissioner Safran, Commissioner Abdul Munir, Second Adjunct Inspector Erwin, Chief Brigadier Joko Sungatno, Commissioner Budi Waluyo, and Brigadier Andi Junaedi.

The bodies were transported using ambulances to Batams Hang Nadim International Airport. They were then sent to Jakartas Soekarno-Hatta International Airport by a commercial Garuda Indonesia flight, GA-15, which departed Batam around 11:45 am local time.

Fourteen personnel of the Riau Islands Police escorted the bodies to Jakarta, where they will be delivered to the families for funeral after a ceremony at the police headquarters.

The M-28 Skytruck crashed enroute to Batam on December 3 while flying from Jakarta via Pangkal Pinang (in the Sumatran province of the Bangka-Belitung Islands) with 16 people on board.

Three passengers disembarked at Pangkal Pinang, while the rest continued their journey on the ill-fated flight.

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

The plane reportedly lost contact with airline authorities above the northern waters of Lingga District, Riau Islands Province.

The search operation, led by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), is utilizing advanced technology to find both debris and passengers from the ill-fated plane.

The joint task force comprises Basarnas personnel and members of the coast guard, the navy, and the Rescue Coordination Center in Singapore.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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