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Missing plane found undamaged in Sumatra, Indonesia

(Xinhua)

16:18, September 29, 2011

JAKARTA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers have found the missing plane with 18 people on board that lost contact on Thursday morning, in the forest of Bahorok in North Sumatra on Thursday, Bambang Ervan, spokesman of Indonesia's Transport Ministry said.

"The position of the plane has been found based on the observation from air. The condition of the plane is undamaged. There is no any sign of fire or damage," the spokesman told Xinhua.

Nevertheless, Ervan could not confirm whether the plane crashed or made an emergency landing.

The CASA 212 aircraft operated by PT Nusantara Buana Airline left Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province at 07:28 a.m. local time (0028 GMT) and should have arrived at Kutacane town of Aceh province at 07:58 a.m. local time (0158 GMT), said Ervan.

The plane had given emergency signals which were received by a small plane Susi Air passing the route, he said.

The 18 people comprised the pilot and co-pilot, two technicians and 14 passengers, said Ervan.

Head of the Search and Rescue Office Hadi Tugiman told Xinhua by phone that the search and rescue operation to find out the location of the plane had been underway now.

The rescuers predicted the plane could be in Bahorok, the border of North Sumatra province and Aceh province or in Kutacane of Aceh province as the rescuers had received other emergency signals which they predicted came from Bahorok, said Tugiman.

A rescue operation has been underway, involving police and air force officers, checking at nearby airports, he said.

Lacking of safety standard has often caused air accidents in Indonesia.

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