Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The search for a helicopter carrying workers employed by PT Freeport mining, which was reported missing on Saturday afternoon, will continue on Sunday (18/3).

Timika SAR Office Chief Zulfikar said here on Saturday that following discussions between Airfast and Esksplorasi Nusa Jaya, the helicopter search will continue on Sunday at 06.00 local time using two Airfast helicopters. The missing helicopter is owned by Airfast Indonesia.

Also, Timika SAR will assign two of its staff members to assist in the helicopter search. The downed helicopter has been detected in the vicinity of Kampung Tsinga, Tembagapura District, according to officials.

The ill-fated helicopter was piloted by Shri Krishnan of New Zealand and carried two passengers, identified as Adrianus Amba Sangka and Iyan Timisela. Both passengers are employees of PT Pangansari Utama. PT Freeport spokesperson Ramdani Sirait has confirmed that the two men were members of the company`s exploration team.

According to a radiogram received by the Search And Rescue Office and the National SAR Agency (Basarnas), Saturday around 10:30 local time, a distress signal was detected by the Basarnas Local User Terminal (LUT) at a frequency of 406 MH, position 04 degrees, 07 minutes, point nine South Latitude-137 degrees, 04 minutes, point five East Longitude.

After receiving this information, Airfast deployed two helicopters to search the area, but the search had to be called off due to bad weather.

The missing helicopter departed from Mozes airport at Kilangin Timika on Saturday morning at around 07:21 local time and was expected to arrive in Kampung Tsinga, Tembagapura district at about 07:37.

Also, Zulfikar said he has not determined whether the helicopter crashed or made an emergency landing.

He said he hopes weather conditions on Sunday would be better in the morning so the team might find the missing helicopter. (*)

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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