Garuda flight makes emergency landing after damage to wing

A Garuda Indonesia flight departing from Manokwari in West Papua to Jayapura in the eastern tip of Papua province was forced to make an emergency landing after its wing was damaged, likely by a lightning strike. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Garuda Indonesia flight departing from Manokwari in West Papua to Jayapura in the eastern tip of Papua province was forced to make an emergency landing after its wing was damaged, likely by a lightning strike. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Garuda flight GA 698 departing from Manokwari in West Papua was forced to land at Biak region on Monday after damage to the wing, likely caused by a lightning strike.

The flight was bound for Jayapura in the eastern tip of Papua province, one of the more than 17,000 islands that is the archipelago of Indonesia.

"There were two Garuda flights bound for Jayapura via Biak. One flight arrived safely at Sentani Airport, Jayapura, while the other one is still undergoing technical examination in Biak," Sentani Airport head Mr Herson, who goes by one name, told The Jakarta Post.

He said the Garuda flight was forced to land in the island of Biak due to technical problems, and technicians at the airport later found black smoke emanating from the aircraft's left wing, requiring additional examinations.

"It is suspected that the flight was struck by lightning," said Mr Herson.

He said bad weather had blanketed parts of areas in Papua since Monday morning but that it had not disrupted flights from Sentani Airport.