Cargo aircraft catching fire at Wamena Airport injures airport crew

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - A cargo aircraft of Nusantara Airways caught fire at Wamena Airport of Papua causing an airport crew, Chris Wetipo, to suffer from burns in the face.

"At the time Wetipo was removing a fuel barrel using a forklift from Boeing BAE146200QT cargo aircraft," said Chief of Wamena Resort Police Senior Commissioner Napitupulu, explaining the aircraft that was caught fire at 11.30 a.m local time here on Wednesday.

According to him, the Co-pilot of the aircraft, Vincensius Ryan Perkasa, also suffered sprains when jumping out from the cabin to avoid the risk of explosion.

The BAE146200QT aircraft that is chartered by PT Walesi Air is piloted by Captain Tatang and exploded in Apron II of Wamena Airport, Jayawijaya District.

"We predicted the fire started after oil fuel barrel fell down from the forklift which was used by the crew to move the cargo from 2.5 meters height and sparked fire that licked oil spills," Napitupulu said.

The Nusantara cargo aircraft that departed from Sentani has arrived in Wamena airport at 11.35 a.m and parked in Apron II.

Then the airport crew moved the cargo from the plane by using the forklift at 11.40 but fell and sparked fire.

"The fire got bigger and spread to the plane`s fuel tank that triggered a blast," Napitupulu said.

According to him the fire brigade arrived at the scene at 11.50 a.m and tried out put out the fire.(*)

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