Tue, 22 Aug 2000

Five killed in Navy helicopter crash

JAKARTA (JP): An Indonesian Navy helicopter crashed on Monday afternoon in a rice field in Deru village in Bojonegoro, killing all five of its crew, Antara reported.

Up until late Monday, Eastern Fleet commander Comm. Djoko Sumaryono was overseeing the retrieval of the dead Navy officers, identified as Second Lt. Buyung, Second Lt. Daniel, Second Sgt. Prayitno, Second Sgt. Dwi and Seaman Imam Mustofa.

Bojonegoro regency is about 100 kilometers west of the East Java capital of Surabaya.

Spokesman for the Surabaya-based Eastern Fleet Command, Lt. Col. Ditya Soedarsono, said the BO-type chopper was on its way to Surabaya from Jakarta when it experienced engine trouble while refueling at a military base in Semarang, the capital of Central Java.

He said the crew had asked officers at Juanda naval base in Surabaya to send technicians to Semarang to help repair the chopper.

The crew had reported seeing its oil pressure drop.

But the helicopter took off before the technicians arrived.

"I don't know whether the chopper had been repaired or not before leaving Semarang. But it fell around Bojonegoro at about 2:50 p.m.," Ditya told Antara.

Ditya said he was researching the cause of the crash and the chronology of the accident.

An Army chopper crashed during a test flight in Seluan village, Kapuas regency in January. No fatalities were resulted from the accident.

Another military helicopter carrying five members of the presidential security guard and five Air Force Squadron 17 personnel crashed into a paddy field in the Kertasari subdistrict in Ciamis, West Java, in April last year, but nobody was killed. (bby)