23 Feb 2005

Papua plane crash kills fifteen

11:23 am on 23 February 2005

Fifteen people are dead and three are seriously injured after a police plane crashed into the sea in the Indonesian province of Papua.

The Casa-212 aircraft carrying 18 people went down early yesterday morning while n trying to land at Mararena Airport in the regency of Sarmi.

Witnesses say the plane plummeted into an estuary about 500 meters in front of the airport.

A police spokesman says they want to know why the plane was carrying civilian passengers.

Eleven civilians and four police officers died in the crash.