Jayapura, Jubi – Some 10 out of the 12 victims of the MI-17 helicopter that had crashed on Mount Mandala, Oksob Sub-district, Pegunungan Bintang District, Papua Province, have been identified, according to a spokesman.
The victims were identified from their uniform, Col. Infantry Binsar Sianipar, commander of the military regional command (Korem) 172/PWY, stated on Saturday.
Only two victims could not be identified owing to the condition of their bodies. The police’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team will identify them, he added.
Sianipar is currently leading the operation to evacuate victims of the crashed MI-17 helicopter.
The 10 identified bodies belong to 1st Lt Ahwar, the copilot; 2nd Sgt Dita Ilham; Capt. Bambang, the flight engineer; Capt Haris Afik, the pilot; Chief Sgt Suryatna, T/I; 1st Private Asharul, the mechanic; 2nd Private Sudjono Kaimudin; 2nd Private Yanuar; 1st Private Risno; and 2nd Private Tegar.
The Russia-made military helicopter, operated by the Indonesian Army Aviation Center, with 12 passengers aboard, including five members of the 725 Infantry Battalion/WRG, went missing during its flights from Oksibil to Sentani, Papua, on June 28, 2019.
The ill-fated helicopter is believed to be in a mountainous area at 12,500 feet above sea level, with a slope of around 90 degrees, or perpendicular.
A helicopter, earlier deployed to locate the Mi-17 helicopter, managed to spot it only once while being airborne and was compelled to return to Oksibil owing to bad weather, Sianipar stated, adding that most likely, the rescuers must head to the location on foot. (*)