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INDONESIA

Rescuers hunt for missing Indonesian plane

1 min

A military plane carrying 18 people including three foreigners disappeared from the radar screens south of Jakarta, Indonesian Air Force spokesman said. Rescuers from the military and the police are searching for the missing passengers.

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Three foreigners are among 18 passengers and crew who are missing after a military transport plane went down in thick jungle in West Java, the Indonesian Air Force spokesman said Friday.

"Twelve people are from the military and six are civilians including three foreign nationals from Britain, India and Singapore," spokesman Chaeruddin Ray he told AFP.

The Casa C-212 transport plane disappeared from radar screens at 3:03 pm (0803 GMT) on Thursday afternoon around Mountain Salak about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Jakarta, rescue coordinator Hadi Tugiman added.

"We deployed three air force planes in the search today and some 40 rescuers from the military and police," he said.

He said dense jungles and mountainous terrain were hampering the search.

"The jungle is quite thick and the weather is so foggy that it's making the search difficult."

Air Force spokesman Ray said the foreigners were from a company that sold aerial photography equipment and were on a trial flight when the plane disappeared.

Indonesia has one of the world's worst aviation safety records following a string of deadly disasters in recent years. The archipelago relies heavily on air as well as sea links.

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