TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Army (TNI AD) deployed two Bell Helicopters and a CN235 aircraft to Oksibil to search for its MI-17 Helicopter (Heli MI-17) that had lost contact since Friday (June 28) at Okbibab, Pegunungan Bintang District, Papua.
Deputy of Public Relations and Media Department (Wakapendam) XVII Cendrawasih Lieutenant Colonel Infantry Dax Sianturi stated at Sentani District on Saturday that aerial and land borne search operations will be continued.
"Since yesterday evening, we had deployed 100 army personnel to Oksibil. They took the land route to Bulangkop Village, Okaoam, Pegunungan Bintang District," Sianturi remarked.
He confirmed that 100 other army personnel from Yonif 751 RK along with 10 personnel of the search and rescue team will be dispatched aboard the Indonesian Air Force's CN235 aircraft from the Silas Papare Air Base, Jayapura.
It was reported over WhatsApp messenger last night that the MI-17 had made an emergency landing, with all crew members having survived, but Sianturi denied this information. He reported that no report had been received on this until 10 p.m. Eastern Indonesian Time (WIT).
The MI-17 Helicopter, bearing registration number HA-5138 and carrying onboard 12 passengers and crew members, lost contact on Friday (June 28) at 11:49 a.m. WIT. They had earlier flown to Okbibab to dispatch logistics to military officers there.
The crew members comprised pilots Captain Aris and First Lt Bambang, co-pilot First Lt Ahwar, Chief Sergeant Suriyatna, Second Sergeant Dita, Private Dwi Purnomo, and Private Aharul.
The passengers were Yonif 725/WRG soldiers: Ikrar Setya Nainggolan, Yanuarius Loe, Risno, Sujono Kaimuddin, and Tegar Hadi Sentana.