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Bodies of Indonesian plane crash victims to be identified

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Jakarta: Indonesian rescuers on Wednesday began transferring to hospital for further identification the bodies of the 54 victims of Sunday’s plane crash in Indonesia’s Papua province.

Four bodies were transported to the joint operation centre located in Sentani air base in Jayapura, capital of Papua province, from Oksibil by an ATR-42 Trigana Air plane of the same type as the one that smashed against a hillside on Sunday, reported Xinhua.2015-08-19_2109

Head of Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Henry Bambang Soelistyo said the bodies of 49 passengers and five crew-members would be transferred to a hospital in Jayapura.

The ATR-42 turboprop plane, operated by Trigana Air, hit Mount Tangok on Sunday during its flight from Jayapura to Oksibil, 280 km south of the provincial capital.

The search team recovered bodies of all 54 people aboard the plane, along with the blackbox of the aircraft on Tuesday.

The plane was also carrying 6.5 billion rupiah (about $470,000) in cash which was to be handed out to poor families because of lack of banking infrastructure in the mountainous region.

The search teams found the money at the crash site — some of it burned and some in good condition, officials said.

(IANS)

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New, Endangered Orangutan Species Found in Indonesia

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Oslo, November 2, 2017, 9:17PM : A new species of orangutan has been identified in remote Indonesian forests and immediately becomes the most endangered type of great ape in the world with just 800 individuals, scientists said on Thursday.

The Tapanuli orangutan, found only in upland forests in North Sumatra, differs from the other two species of orangutan in the shape of its skull and teeth, its genes, and in the way the males make long booming calls across the jungle, they said.

“The differences are very subtle, not easily observable to the naked eye,” Professor Michael Kruetzen of the University of Zurich, who is part of an international team, told Reuters.

“With no more than 800 individuals, this species is the most endangered great ape,” the scientists wrote. Apart from humans, great apes comprise orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos.

The Tapanuli orangutan had probably been isolated from other populations for 10,000-20,000 years, the researchers wrote in the journal Current Biology. The population had been known by scientists since at least 1997 but had not previously been considered a separate species.

The Tapanuli orangutan faces threats including from forest clearance to make way for mining or palm oil plantations. The region also had plans for a hydro-electric dam.

The scientists urged quick conservation measures. Otherwise, “we may see the discovery and extinction of a great ape species within our lifetime,” they wrote.

Laurel Sutherlin of Rainforest Action Network, who was not involved in the study, said the finding “must also serve as a wake up call to all of us from consumers, to global food and paper brands, to investors and local and national governments” to protect forests.(VOA)

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