Jakarta (Antara) – At least 18 mining workers died and 10 others were seriously injured after a truck carrying 29 people crashed in a mountainous region in West Papua early on Wednesday.
All the victims are from the province of East Nusa Tenggara who worked for a local mining firm, according to West Papua Police spokesman Chief Comr. Adam Erwindi.
The truck was on a trip from Arfak District to Manokwari when the incident occurred at around 3:00 a.m. local time.
A suspected brake failure caused the truck to lose control and slammed into the hill as it descended on a steep mountain slope along TransPapua Road in Manyambo, Adam said.
"Thirteen people died instantly on the spot and five others died en route to the hospital," the officer told Antara news agency.
"The injured are still being treated at Manokwari Hospital," Adam added.
Clinton Tallo, the head of the East Nusa Tenggara Community in Papua, said separately bodies of the victims will be flown on a chartered Lion Air plane to East Nusa Tenggara for funereal at 2:00 p.m. local time on Thursday.
Identities of the deceased are yet to be disclosed pending confirmation from authorities, but initial information revealed that they came from the East Nusa Tenggara districts of Belu, Malaka, Amarasi, Kupang, and Sikka, he said.