Indonesian passenger plane plunges into river, hurts 20

13:25, April 13, 2010      

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A commercial plane carrying 103 passengers skidded off runway and plunged into a river near the airport in Manokwari of West Papua on Tuesday, injuring 20 people, police and official said.

The head of the plane sank in the water and its body broke into two pieces, Papua police spokesman Agus Rianto told Xinhua by phone.

The Boeing 737 operated by Merpati Airline flew from Sorong to Manokwari and moved over 700 meters from the runway after landing in heavy rain, he said.

Slippery runway was regarded as one of the possible causes of the accident, the spokesman said.

All the wounded are rushed to nearby hospitals in Manokwari, said Rianto.

Director for Air Transport of Transport Ministry Herry Bhakti told Xinhua by phone that the accident left twenty people injured, some seriously.

The accident took place at 10:50 am local time (0150 GMT), the spokesman said.

The authorities temporarily closed the airport during the evacuation and now they reopened it, spokesman of Transport Ministry Bambang Erfan told Xinhua.

Plane is a favorite transport mean in Papua which has poor land transport infrastructure.


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