Airline With 54 Passengers Aboard Goes Missing

Airline With 54 Passengers Aboard Goes Missing

( 4UMF NEWS ) Airline With 54 Passengers Aboard Goes Missing:

An airliner with 54 people aboard lost contact with air traffic control over the remote, mountainous province of Papua in Indonesia in bad weather on Sunday.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata said a Trigana Air Service plane lost contact in the afternoon while flying from the provincial capital of Jayapura to the city of Oksibil on Papua, the country's largest and most eastern province, according to the AP.

He said the ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane, which was carrying 49 passengers and five crew members, lost contact 33 minutes after taking off on the 42-minute journey. Five children were among the passengers, he added.

Speaking to Reuters by phone, National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelystyo said: "Lost contact with plane."

The agency tweeted at about 7 a.m. ET that the search has been suspended due to limited visibility as night draws in and will resume early Monday,

In December, an AirAsia plane crashed in the Java Sea en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, killing all 162 people aboard. In June, more than 100 people died after a military plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in Medan, Indonesia's third-largest city.

The 17,000-island nation has seen rapid growth in the aviation industry, but is struggling to provide enough pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and updated airport technology to ensure safety.