JAKARTA, Indonesia – Searchers on Sunday found more bodies and one black box from a passenger plane that crashed into the sea off eastern Indonesia with 25 people on board.
The device from the Chinese-made Xian MA60 twin turboprop was found in waters about 50 feet to 66 feet (15 meters to 20 meters) deep, said Efendi Rajaloa, chief of the local Search and Rescue Agency.
The plane belonging to state-run Merpati Nusantara Airlines crashed in heavy rain Saturday in Kaimana Bay about 500 yards (meters) short of the runway at Kaimana's airport. It had come from Sorong, also in West Papua province.
The recovered black box was the flight data recorder, said Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry. The voice data recorder has been located and searchers could retrieve it Monday.
The 20 divers have struggled in limited visibility to pull bodies from the wreckage covered in thick mud, said Rajaloa, who has led the search.
Four bodies were recovered Sunday and four are still missing, airline spokesman Imam Turidi said. Seventeen had been found Saturday. The passengers included one child and two infants.
Earlier, 27 people had been reported on board, but the company said Sunday two crewmen were counted twice. Officials have indicated survivors were unlikely given the condition of the wreckage.
Air flight is the main transportation in Papua, the second biggest of Indonesia's more than 17,000 islands.
The nation of 235 million people has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry sinkings. Overcrowding, aging infrastructure and poor safety standards are often to blame.