Adam Air, Indonesia’s low cost airline which flies from Surabaya to Manado, crashed late Monday and after more than 20 hours missing, has been found in the mountains of Polewali Mandar regency, South Sulawesi province. It was reported that the plane hit the mountain in bad weather. There were 96 passengers — among them are 85 adults, seven children, and four babies, as well as a pilot and a copilot, and four crews members. Three foreigners were on board Flight KI 574 but there are no detailed reports as to whether they died or not.
The preliminary report from Hasanuddin airport authority says that 12 passengers are still alive and the authorities are moving to the location to help and evacuate passengers. When the incident happened, South and West Sulawesi were under heavy rain, and it is thought that this was the main cause of the airplane crash. According to the schedule, the plane should have landed in Manado at 4.14 p.m. local time.
Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa explained that the plane lost contact as it flew above Mamuju in West Sulawesi province. Meanwhile Air Transportation General Director M. Iksan Tatang said that when the plane lost contact from Hasanuddin airport, its position was around 160 km northwest from Makassar at 35,000 feet.
The authorities then contacted other airports to see if the plane — which was built in 1990 — had made an emergency landing. The authority did this because in a previous incident, an airplane from the same company on a scheduled flight from Jakarta to Makassar, landed in an emergency at one of airports in Nusa Tenggara Island.
Then important information came from Air Traffic Centre Singapore which informed the searchers that Singapore’s radar had caught a signal from the emergency locator beacon (elba) in Rantepao, Tanatoraja, South Sulawesi province.
Relatives of the passengers were asked by Adam Air Company to provide documents to identify the victims and help insurance claims. Adam Air also flew two relatives of each passenger for free from Jakarta and Surabaya to Makassar. Adam Air’s directors were also on the flight which left at 6.a.m. today.