Bad weather hampered the efforts to retrieve bodies from the crashed Indonesian aircraft in the remote Papua region of the country on Tuesday, according to the country’s Search and Rescue Agency.
“At 17.30 p.m. local time (0830 GMT) or about half an hour ago, we decided to call off the operation for the day. Our coordination team in the field suggested it would take longer time to retrieve the bodies with land transport, so we have decided to air-lift the bodies tomorrow morning,” the agency’s deputy operation officer Heronimus Guru told a news conference in Jakarta.
The Trigana Air Service ATR 42-300 plane crashed on Sunday, halfway from Sentani Airport in Jayapura to the southern town of Oksibil with 49 passengers and five crew.
Flight recorders, also known as black boxes, have been found.
“I cannot answer the question about the condition of the black boxes, as I have not seen them yet, we will wait for the announcement from [Jayapura]. I believe the black boxes are in good condition, and hopefully they are still working,” Guru said when asked about the conditions of the black boxes.
Trigana Air Service has had 14 serious incidents since it began operations in 1991, according to the Aviation Safety Network. Excluding this latest incident, it has written off 10 aircraft.
The airline has been on the European Union’s list of banned carriers since 2007 due to safety or regulatory concerns.
Indonesia has a patchy aviation safety record and has seen two major plane crashes in the past year, including an AirAsia flight that went down in the Java Sea, killing all 162 on board.