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Indonesian plane "totally destroyed" searchers at site say

JAYAPURA, Indonesia -- An Indonesian official says that rescuers have managed to reach the crash site of an Indonesian plane that went missing two days ago with 54 people on board and that there were no survivors.

"The plane was totally destroyed and all the bodies were burned and difficult to identify," National Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo told The Associated Press. "There is no chance anyone survived."

He said that so far 38 bodies had been recovered.

A search and rescue team spotted the wreckage of an Indonesian passenger plane that went missing with 54 people on board, smoke still billowing from it in a rugged area in eastern Papua province, rescue officials said Monday.

The Trigana Air Service plane was flying from Papua's provincial capital, Jayapura, to the Papua city of Oksibil when it lost contact with Oksibil's airport. Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata said there was no indication that the pilot had made a distress call.

Officials said the wreckage was spotted about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from Oksibil, and Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, said search and rescue teams were preparing to try to reach the crash site by air and foot.

Passenger plane disappears in Indonesia

The ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane was carrying 49 passengers and five crew members on a scheduled 42-minute journey, Barata said. Five children, including two infants, were among the passengers.

Search planes went into the air early Monday after residents of a village not far from Oksibil told local police that they saw a plane flying low before crashing into a mountain, said Ludiyanto, who heads the search and rescue operation from Jayapura.

Local media reports said all the passengers are Indonesians. The airline has not released a passenger manifest.

Oksibil, which is 280 kilometers (175 miles) south of Jayapura, was experiencing heavy rain, strong winds and fog when the plane lost contact with the airport minutes before it was scheduled to land, said Susanto, the head of Papua's search and rescue agency.

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