Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Police is attempting to conduct weather modification to expedite the evacuation of the Jambi Police chief and his entourage, whose helicopter had to make an emergency landing amid the Jambi wilderness on February 19.

Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo affirmed that the operation to evacuate the victims by air, currently in its third day, is hindered by foggy weather.

"We are attempting to conduct weather modification to disperse the fog and improve the visibility at the accident site in Kerinci District, Jambi, and ensure that air evacuation can proceed well," Prabowo stated here, Tuesday.

He said air rescue is more effective than evacuation through land, as due to the difficult terrain, rescuers have to spend at least 12 hours on the trek to reach the accident site and it also hinders the use of trail motorbikes.

However, in the event of no improvement in air conditions, the search and rescue (SAR) team is ready to evacuate the Jambi police chief and other passengers in the downed helicopter by land, he explained.

"We have dispatched an extra team to prepare for the situation when we must conduct evacuation through land," Prabowo stated.

To support efforts to conduct land evacuation, the joint SAR team is conducting route mapping to determine the closest and safest evacuation route to ensure that injuries sustained by the victims would not worsen, he noted.

"We need special measures to ensure that their injuries do not worsen while guaranteeing the smoothness of our operation. The safety of our colleagues injured (in the emergency landing) remains our priority," the police chief affirmed.

The Bell 412 SP helicopter, bearing registration number P-3001, was carrying aboard Jambi Police Chief Inspector General Rusdi Hartono and his entourage when it was forced to make an emergency landing in the Jambi wilderness on Sunday on account of bad weather.

He was expected to inaugurate an Integrated Police Service Center in the Kerinci Police unit on that day.

Officers in Hartono’s entourage comprised director of criminal investigation, Senior Commissioner Andri Ananta; director of Water and Air Police, Senior Commissioner Muchael Bumbunan; and coordinator of the executive personal staff, Commissioner A. Yani.

Other entourage members included Adjunct Commissioner Ali, Adjunct Commissioner Amos F., Second Adjunct Inspector Susilo, as well as an aide-de-camp of the Jambi Police chief.

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Translator: Laily Rahmawaty, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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