Sentani, Jayapura (ANTARA) - A joint team of the Oksibil Search and Rescue Agency, the Indonesian Military and the police, and locals took land transportation to search the Army's Mi-17 helicopter that went missing in Pegunungan Bintang District on June 28 at 11:49 a.m. Eastern Indonesian Time (WIT).

A spokesperson of Papua's Cenderawasih Military Command Lt. Col. Inf Dax Sianturi stated in Sentani, Jayapura District, on Saturday that the team from the Oksibil Search and Rescue office along with TNI and Polri officials as well as the community headed on land to search for the lost helicopter.

Dax Sianturi explained that the land team that had conducted temporary search comprised as many as 60 personnel of the TNI and Polri as well as the SAR team, community, and other elements reaching around 100 people.

"Last night, they were in Bulangkop Village, Okaom District. From Bulankop, some were heading to the Oksbdimana District, and they were informed that the community last spotted the helicopter on Friday at around 12:00 WIT before it went missing," he stated.

Sianturi noted that the weather then began deteriorating from 12:00 WIT.

He explained that land-based search involved the Oksibil Search and Rescue team, and currently two teams were searching for the missing helicopter.

"A temporary team in Bulankop Village aims to continue to conduct sweeping operations in the area that is believed to be the last recorded location where the Mi-17 helicopter, bearing registration number HA-5138, was seen by the public before it went missing," he noted.

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The Mi-17 helicopter owned by the Army reportedly lost contact since Friday (June 28) at around 11:49 WIT.

The Mi-17 helicopter, bearing registration number HA-5138, was carrying onboard 12 passengers and crew members, who had earlier flown to Okbibab to deliver logistics to soldiers serving in the area.

The helicopter crew comprised pilots CPN Captain Aris and CPN Lieutenant Bambang, co-pilot First Lieutenant CPN Ahwar, Chief Sergeant Suriyatna, Second Sergeant Dita, Praka Dwi Purnomo, and First Soldier Aharul.

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Translator: Musa Jayapura/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
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