Fifteen foreigners were among the 21 victims killed in a plane accident on Wednesday in Indonesia's Yogyakarta province, and the black box would be sent to Australia for investigation, Indonesian Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa said on Thursday.
Minister Rajasa made the statement at the State Palace after a meeting chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono which discussed about the rampant disaster and transport accidents in the sprawling archipelago country with some 17,000 islands.
"The data from the manifest shows that the number of foreign victims were 15, comprising those from Australia, Japan, Italy and Brunei Darussalam," he told a press conference.
Minister Rajasa said that the national committee (KNKT) for the safety of transportation already found the black box of the plane and it would be delivered to Australia.
"It will be possibly opened in Australia," he said.
The minister also said that the investigation into the accident had already been carried out since Wednesday.
"A team will check an emergency response from the airport and interview those being treated in hospitals, including the pilot," he said. "Another team of engineering already investigated the wreckage of the plane," he added.
The minister said that the evacuation of the plane wreckage would be conducted on Thursday for its potential of disturbing other planes that will land on the runway near the wreckage.
The Boeing 737-400 belonging to the national carrier Garuda Indonesia burst into flame Wednesday morning after a shot landing at an international Adi Sucipto Airport of Yogyakarta province, the spokesman of the provincial administration Alex Syamsury said.
The plane landed too far from it supposed to be and skidded off the runway, according to the provincial police spokesman Budi Santoso.
Indonesia has frequently witnessed airline accidents. Recently a budget airliner Adam Air with more than 100 people on board lost in the waters of eastern of the country.
Indonesia has vowed to evaluate its aviation system to prevent further possible accident.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)