Trigana Air plane that crashed was transporting $650,000 in cash

Relatives of missing Trigana Air flight passengers look for informations at Sentani Airport, Jayapura, Indonesia on Aug 16, 2015.
Relatives of missing Trigana Air flight passengers look for informations at Sentani Airport, Jayapura, Indonesia on Aug 16, 2015.PHOTO: EPA
Indonesian Minister of Transport Ignatius Jonan delivers a press conference on the Trigana Air accident at the Ministry of Transportation office in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Aug 16, 2015.
Indonesian Minister of Transport Ignatius Jonan delivers a press conference on the Trigana Air accident at the Ministry of Transportation office in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Aug 16, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
Relatives of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane wait for information from the rescue mission at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015.
Relatives of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane wait for information from the rescue mission at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
Family members of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane gather to listen for information from the officials at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015.
Family members of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane gather to listen for information from the officials at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
Chief of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Bambang Soelistyo (right), accompanied by Jayapura military air base commander Colonel I Made Susila Adyana, speaks during a press conference at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indon
Chief of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Bambang Soelistyo (right), accompanied by Jayapura military air base commander Colonel I Made Susila Adyana, speaks during a press conference at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
Relatives of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane read the passenger manifest at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015.
Relatives of passengers onboard the missing Trigana Air plane read the passenger manifest at Sentani airport near Jayapura, Indonesia, on Aug 17, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

JAYAPURA, Indonesia (AFP) - An Indonesian passenger plane that crashed at the weekend in Papua was transporting about 6.5 billion rupiah (S$650,000) in cash to distribute to poor families in the eastern province, a post office official said on Monday.

"Four of our personnel were escorting the funds," said Haryono, the head of Jayapura post office, who goes by one name. The money was in four bags, he added.

Rescuers on Monday headed to the site in remote eastern Indonesia where debris has been spotted after a Trigana Air plane crashed with 54 people aboard at the weekend, the latest accident to hit the country's aviation sector.

The plane lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday afternoon during a short flight in bad weather from Jayapura, capital of Papua province. Read more here.

The ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop plane was carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew on the flight which was scheduled to take about 45 minutes.

But the plane disappeared about 10 minutes before reaching its destination Oksibil, a remote settlement in the mountains south of Jayapura, shortly after it asked permission to start descending to land.