Hanoi (VNA) – A small plane with five people on board, which reportedly went missing earlier, crashed in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province on July 5 and rescue operation has been undertaken.

Spokesman of the national search and rescue office Marsudi said the Pilatus Porter PC-6 went missing a few minutes after taking off from Wamena town in the morning of the same day, adding that it was on route to Derakma, Papua province.

Five people on board included one pilot, one co-pilot and three passengers, he said

The wreckage of the plane was seen at 8,500 feet (2.5 kilometres) and about 8 nautical (15 kilometres) away from Wamena town, Marsudi added.

The plane was operated by Associated Mission Aviation, a private firm launching flights in the area which heavily relies on air transport.

Flying is the only practical way of accessing many areas in the mountainous and jungle-clad easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua, but flight security remained poor.

A number of flight accidents have occurred in the Southeast Asia country in recent years. Previously, in August 2015, a passenger plane of Trigana airlines also crashed in Papua province due to bad weather, claiming lives of all 54 people on board. -VNA