By The Jakarta (Indonesia) Globe
A military Bell 412 helicopter carrying ten soldiers went missing on Wednesday over the jungles of North Kalimantan, an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo, while on an inland logistical operation.
The helicopter had left from Tarakan, bound for Long Iram in the district of Nunukan, when it lost contact with a control tower at Malinau airport some 15 minutes after takeoff, a soldier who declined to be identified told news portal Kompas.com.
“Its last contact was with the Malinau airport air traffic center at around 1:45 p.m.” the soldier said. The helicopter, which took off from Tarakan at 1:30 p.m., was slated to return by 4 p.m. As of 6 p.m., its whereabouts remained unknown. “We cannot yet ascertain what has happened to the helicopter, but according to the information that we have now, it cannot be contacted,” he said.
The military command in neighboring East Kalimantan, which oversees the fledgling North Kalimantan province, declined to comment immediately.
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter.