Twenty Injured in Merpati Papua Landing

MANOKWARI
The Bali Times

A MERPATI Airlines plane carrying about 100 passengers skidded off the runway into a shallow river as it landed in Papua on Tuesday, injuring some 20 people.

The Boeing 737 broke into pieces as it bounced off the tarmac at Rendani airport in Manokwari, director general of civil aviation Herry Bhakti Singayuda said.

“It skidded off the runway and part of the body landed in a river,” he said, referring to a shallow waterway about 200 metres from the runway.

“All 103 passengers and six crew members are safe. Some are injured. They have been rushed to hospital.”

Bad weather including heavy rain and fog were suspected of playing a part in the crash, Singayuda said, although expert investigators had yet to arrive at the scene.

Manokwari Hospital emergency unit nurse Benget Hutagalung said “about 20” people had been brought in with shattered limbs and head injuries.
Witnesses said the left wing broke off as the plane hurtled into trees at the end of the runway.

The body of the plane came to rest with the tail section in the river and the cockpit almost sheered off.

The plane was flying a domestic route from Sorong, also in Papua province, to Manokwari, a distance of about 340 kilometres.

Transport Ministry experts from the Jakarta were on their way to the rugged province in the far east of the country to investigate the crash.

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