Seven Die in Indonesia Plane Crash
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ A commuter plane crashed early Thursday in an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo, killing seven people and injuring three, an airport official said.
The plane _ an 8-seat Britten-Norman 2A owned by Dirgantara Air Service _ went down minutes after takeoff from Tarakan in East Kalimantan province, said the official, named Zainuddin.
The plane was on a 80-minute flight to the nearby town of Lombawan located about 1,500 kilometers northeast of the country’s capital Jakarta, he said.
``Just two minutes after taking off, the pilot radioed that he had to return to the airport,″ said Zainuddin, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.
Borneo island, which is divided between Indonesia and Malaysia, is covered by vast tropical forests. There are few roads and air travel is common. Because of many poor maintenance, plane crashes occur frequently.
In July, nine people were killed when a cargo version of the Britten-Norman BN-2B smashed into a mountainside while on a routine, one-hour flight in the same region. One person survived and was found after a five-day search.