Mon, 18 Sep 2000

Bengkulu forest chief lost in jungle

BENGKULU: The head of the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office and his entourage are missing. They are believed lost somewhere in a forest in North Bengkulu.

Hariyono Suroso and his entourage left a famous 9-tiered waterfall about 90 kilometers from here on Thursday on an overnight trip.

However, Antara reported that as of Sunday afternoon there was still no sign of them.

"They haven't returned. Five of the 10-member group are already back in Bengkulu," M. Ali, one of them said.

Due to poor weather conditions, radio contact with the group has been impossible.

Dozens of local residents have joined in a search for the missing officials.

It is believed that they are on foot as only 10 kilometers of the road they took is passable by car. (mds)