JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A helicopter carrying five people is missing in western Indonesia in the country's latest air transport incident.
Zainul Thahar, a spokesman for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said Monday that the Eurocopter EC-130 was on a chartered flight from Samosir island in Toba Lake to North Sumatra's capital, Medan, when it was reported missing Sunday about 17 minutes after takeoff. It was carrying two crewmen and three passengers.
He said about 200 people were taking part Monday in a search for the helicopter, belonging to PT Penerbangan Angkasa Semesta.
It was the second recent air accident in Indonesia. Earlier this month a DHC-6 Twin Otter plane crashed in eastern Indonesia, killing all 10 people on board.
Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of about 250 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, including plane and train crashes and ferry sinkings. The country's airline market is expanding rapidly but struggles to obtain qualified pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers, and modern airport technology.