JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A helicopter chartered by an Australian mining company slammed into a mountain in eastern Indonesia, killing all 10 passengers and crew, the head of the search and rescue team said Thursday.
The Bell 412 – carrying two Australians, two South Africans and six Indonesians – lost contact with authorities Wednesday afternoon minutes after takeoff from the city of Manado on Sulawesi island, said Lucky Pondaag, an airport spokesman.
It was heading to Newcrest’s Gosowong Mine on the island of Halmahera.
A search and rescue team discovered the wreckage at around 2 a.m., said Ludianto, head of the operations, who goes by only one name.
There was only one survivor at the scene, he said, an Indonesian who later died of his injuries at the hospital. The bodies of the nine others have been transported to Manado.
It was not clear what caused the crash.
Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of nearly 240 million, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry sinkings. Overcrowding, aging infrastructure and poor safety standards are often to blame.
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