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Pilot killed in Indonesia helicopter crash

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a Bell 206 helicopter.

A helicopter has crashed in a remote region in eastern Indonesia leaving the pilot dead and three passengers critically wounded.

Officials said on Saturday the Bell 206 helicopter went down in Paniai district, Papua Province.

"We have evacuated the passengers to the nearby city of Nabire so they could get medical treatment," said Agus Rianto, a spokesman for Indonesia's national police.

Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia, is a remote, mountainous area and light aircraft are commonly used for transport in the province.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were on board the chopper and what caused it to go down as weather conditions were reported to be normal at the time of the incident.

The region’s difficult terrain, bad weather and poor safety have caused several aviation accidents in Indonesia in recent years.

In 2015, a plane from Trigana Air, a small domestic Indonesian airline, lost contact after taking off from Sentani airport in Papua's capital, Jayapura, on a flight to Oksibil. Its wreckage was later found by villagers in the Bintang highlands region of Oksibil. All 49 passengers and five crew members were killed in the accident.

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