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Rescue teams trying to reach plane crash in Indonesian mountains

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:50 AM EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
The wreckage of the airplane that crashed lies in among the trees at mount Hulusekelem in Bahorok, North Sumatra, on Friday.
The wreckage of the airplane that crashed lies in among the trees at mount Hulusekelem in Bahorok, North Sumatra, on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The airplane carrying 14 people crashed in the mountains in North Sumatra, an air official says
  • The flight was bound for the Aceh province when it crashed
  • Two children and two infants are among the passengers, the official says
  • An aerial search spotted the plane, which appeared to be largely intact

(CNN) -- Search and rescue teams on Friday were trying to reach an airplane that crashed with 18 people aboard in the mountains of western Indonesia, an air transportation official said.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the airplane Thursday morning shortly after it took off from the Medan Polonia Airport in North Sumatra.

It was bound for the Kutacane district in Aceh province when it crashed in the mountains in North Sumatra, said Henry Bakti, Indonesia's director general for air transportation.

The plane was spotted during an aerial search, and it appeared to be largely intact, Bakti told reporters. The condition of the passengers, including two children and two infants, was not immediately known, he said.

Nusantara Buana Air owns the plane, which operates nine planes and services destinations in Aceh from the Medan Polonia and Banda Aceh airports.

Airplanes are the primary mode of transportation between Indonesia's scattered islands.

In May, a plane that crashed off the coast of Kaimana killed at least 15 people.

Indonesia's poor aviation record has led the European Union and the United States to blacklist a number of the country's small airlines, including Nusantara Buana Air.

CNN's Kathy Quiano contributed to this report.