Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A Smart Air's caravan aircraft overran the runway at Aminggaru Airport in Erogama Sub-district, Puncak District, Central Papua, on Monday morning, though 14 people aboard survived the veer off, a police officer stated.

The plane carried 12 passengers identified as Yofri, Erina Murib, Denius, I Putu Dhyana, Yulius Harikatang, Obet Kafiota, Irince, Melince, Weta, Kior, Melinus Tabuni, and Julinus.

The aircraft might have skidded off the runway and crashed into the airport's fence due to brake failure, Puncak Police Chief Commissioner I Nyoman Punia told ANTARA when contacted from Jayapura on Monday.

Punia said that based on the reports he had received, the Smart Air pilot, Ilman, and copilot, Ilham, suddenly experienced a brake failure while attempting to drive the utility aircraft to the airport apron.

The pilot spontaneously turned the plane, with registration number PK-SJN, to the left, causing it to skid off the runway and hit the airport's fence.

"Luckily, there were no fatalities in the accident," he remarked.

Aminggaru Airport head, Oktovianus Sawaki, had earlier stated that the Smart Air accident did not disrupt the airport's operational activities.

ANTARA reported earlier that Papua has witnessed numerous air accidents over the past few years.

On September 18, 2019, a Twin Otter aircraft carrying rice packages from the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) went missing en route from the Moses Kilangain Airport in Timika, Mimika District, to Ilaga, the capital city of Puncak District.

However, an intensive search operation, conducted for several days, led to the discovery of this Twin Otter aircraft.

In 2023, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) recorded a slight increase in the number of aviation accidents in the highlands, especially in Papua.

The KNKT had recorded a total of seven accident cases and 13 serious incidents, with incidents of aircraft overrunning the runway dominating the record, said Soerjanto Tjahjono, the KNKT's chairperson.

The most prominent accidents were those of a Cessna C208B that crashed into a mountain in Papua and four tail-strike accidents involving the Boeing 737 aircraft.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Anton Santoso
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