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Missing chopper found in deep forest in Indonesia's Papua

Christian Fernsby |
Rescuers on Friday found the helicopter from air which lost contact on Thursday in a deep forest in Indonesia's eastern Papua province, a spokesman of the National Search and Rescue Office Yusuf Latief said.

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The chopper was found in a deep forest near a river, the spokesman told Xinhua by phone.

Rescuers will resume efforts Saturday to reach the crash site of a helicopter by air in a deep forest in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua, spokesman of National Search and Rescue Office Yusuf Latief said on Friday.

Cloudy weather hampered the rescuers from moving closer to the scene on Friday, he said, adding that the search was halted and will resume on Saturday.

"A priority has been put on reaching the site through air, because the site is deep in the forest," said Latief. "However, reaching the spot by land has also been considered as a option, would the air transport fail," he added.

"The Bell helicopter lost contact Thursday after departing from Nabire district heading to Baya Biru of Paniai district," Latief said.

The helicopter was operated by a utility helicopter company operating in Indonesia, according to him. Several people were reportedly aboard and their status could not be confirmed yet.

The search operation involves rescuers from local search and rescue offices, soldiers, police, personnel of the air navigation office, among others, he said.