Eight people were killed after an Indonesian search and rescue helicopter crashed in central Java, while on a rescue mission following a volcanic eruption, a senior official said on Monday. This is the latest in a series of aviation accidents in the country.
The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency's helicopter was carrying four rescuers and four Navy crew members when it crashed into a cliff in Temanggung in central Java on Sunday. Muhammad Syaugi, the head of the agency said that all the eight bodies have been recovered from the crash site and identified.
The chopper was on a mission to oversee the situation in Central Java, where a volcanic crater erupted at the Dieng Plateau, which is popular with tourists, on Sunday afternoon.
The Sileri crater spewed cold lava, ash and mud as high as 50 metres (164 feet) into the sky, injuring at least five people. The officials quickly deployed officers to clear the popular tourist area.
Sileri is the most active and dangerous among some 10 craters at Dieng Plateau. Its most recent eruption was in 2009, when it unleashed volcanic materials up to 200 metres high and triggered the creation of three new craters.
Syaugi said his agency and the national transportation safety committee will investigate the cause of the crash.
Indonesia has experienced several air disasters in the past few months and has a poor aviation track record. In December, a military helicopter crashed in a remote area in Indonesia's Borneo killing three people.