Chopper crew rescued from Papua river basin

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Three people have been rescued from a Bell 212 helicopter that made an emergency landing in a river basin in Papua, Indonesia. Photo supplied

Three people have been rescued from a Bell 212 helicopter owned by PT National Utility Helicopters (NUH) that made an emergency landing in a river basin in Paniai regency, Papua, Indonesia on Thursday.

The rescued crew members arrived at Aturure Douw airport in Nabire regency on Saturday at 10:30 am local time. They were carried by a helicopter owned by mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia that had flown from Timika city to the landing site in the bed of the Degeuwo River in Paniai.

The rescue team took the pilot, Captain Endy Nawalaga, the copilot, Captain Erik Kurniawan, and a crew member named M Aswar Jamal to the Nabire General Hospital, Nabire Police chief Adjutant Senior Commissioner Sonny M Nugroho said.

Before being taken to Nabire, the three victims were given first aid in Siriwo district.

Sonny said Erik had suffered injuries to the head and legs, as well as a collision wound to the chest.

“Meanwhile, Endy was injured on the head and legs, and Aswal’s left arm was broken,” Sonny said on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.com.

The NUH helicopter was heading to the Baya Biru area to deliver food. It was reported missing several hours after it took off from Nabire Airport at 10:47am local time on Thursday.

A search and rescue team managed to locate the helicopter on Friday and attempted to rescue the three men but was unable to because of bad weather and difficult terrain.

The team then asked PT Freeport’s search and rescue team to assist using better equipment.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK