Fog hinders Indonesian plane crash operation

Other News Materials 29 June 2008 10:10 (UTC +04:00)

Heavy fog delayed efforts on Sunday to retrieve the bodies of 18 people killed in a plane crash in mountains not far from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, an official said Sunday.

"We are trying our best to bring the bodies out of (the crash) location, but the weather is fluctuating from clear to foggy in every 30 minutes," rescue team head Hadi Tugiman told AFP .

The Casa C-212 transport plane, carrying 18 people including three foreigners, disappeared from radar screens on Thursday afternoon around Mount Salak in West Java 40 kilometres ( 25 miles) south of Jakarta.

The three foreigners -- from Britain, India and Singapore -- were among six civilians on board the military flight when it took off from a Jakarta air base on a short trip to test ground imaging equipment.

The other 12 on the plane were with the military.

The foreigners reportedly worked for Credent Technology offering services in high-resolution satellite imagery and laser scanning for mapping.

Officials plan to take the bodies to Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma airbase, from where the plane departed.

Air force spokesman Chaeruddin Ray told Detikcom news website Sunday that weather conditions did not permit air evacuation and that the bodies would be transported overland.

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.