Indonesia probes plane crash

15:21, May 12, 2011      

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Indonesian authorities have carried out an investigation into the crash of a passenger plane operated by state firm Merpati Nusantara airline in Kaimana gulf of West Papua in eastern Indonesia on Saturday that killed all 25 people on board.

The plane from Sorong town to Kaimana town crashed into sea about 500 meters away from runway before landing, according to Transport Ministry.

Head of Air Transport Directorate of the ministry Harry Bhakti said that the probe was aimed at finding out the cause of the accident, whether it was caused by unfavorable weather, human error or technical fault.

He said that the plane quality was good and proper to fly, and that it rained immediately before the accident.

Scores of investigators from Indonesian National Transport Safety Committee or KNKT have been on the scene to conduct an investigation, according to Franswenas, an investigator at the KNKT.

Eight experts from China where the plane was made have also arrived in Kaimana town to help with the investigation, he told Xinhua by phone.

Indonesian rescuers have recovered the bodies of the 25 people on board and both data recorder and voice recorder known as black boxes.

Both recorders were sent to China on Wednesday for analysis, said Franswenas.

"We expect them to be read there, because the result of the analysis would be really helpful to the ongoing investigation," said Franswenas.

Indonesia is also waiting for the result of investigation conducted by the experts from China.

The European Union lifted its travel ban on four of 51 Indonesian airlines in July 2009, which was imposed in July 2007 after a series of accidents that killed over 250 people.

Source: Xinhua
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