JAKARTA: There were few hopeful hints Friday that there could be survivors from a small plane that crashed in Indonesia with 18 people on board after rescuers said the fuselage was intact and a door was open.
Reported earlier here; the Casa 212 turboprop plane, carrying 14 passengers and four crew, went down in western Sumatra island on Thursday after departing Medan city, in Sumatra, for the nearby province of Aceh.
But the commercial flight run by Nusantara Buana Air sent an emergency signal and went down at 1,100 metres (3,600 feet) in the mountainous Bohorok area, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of Medan.
A team, dispatched for search and rescue operation, found Thursday that the fuselage was mainly intact and early Friday morning they reported from a helicopter that a door to the aircraft had been opened.
“They saw an open door, which makes us think that some passengers may be alive, so we are hopeful,” transport ministry aviation head Herry Bakti told AFP.
The rescue team were unable to reach the site Thursday because of poor access to the area and difficult terrain.
“The first thing we’ll do today is place an emergency helipad at the site, and hopefully we can get on the ground soon,” Bakti said.
Local daily newspaper Kompas reported that families of the missing had begun a search mission themselves, frustrated with the slow response.