Jakarta: A soldier aboard a military helicopter that crashed in remote Indonesian jungle more than two weeks ago has miraculously been found alive, an army spokesman said today.
Yohanes Syahputra was found late yesterday by villagers on Borneo island in an exhausted state, army spokesman Sabrar Fadhilah said.
“Thanks be to God almighty, we have found one of the passengers of the downed helicopter,” Fadhilah said in a text message.
“The victim was found with wounds on his hands, waist and legs, and was weak as he hadn’t eaten in days.”
Syahputra was aboard a Bell 412 helicopter with four other military personnel when it lost contact on November 24 over a remote stretch of Bornean jungle.
The wrecked chopper was found three days later, having crashed during its delivery run to a remote army post near the Malaysian border.
Three crew had died, but one survived and was airlifted to safety.
Syahputra was not found.
A farmer discovered the soldier resting at a hut on the outskirts of a plantation, where he had been eating sugar for sustenance, local media reported.
It is not the first time a passenger has made a miraculous escape in an Indonesian air disaster.
Last year a man was found alive, naked and floating in a huge volcanic lake on Sumatra island, two days after the helicopter in which he was travelling crashed.
This recent chopper accident was just the latest crash for Indonesia’s accident-prone military.
Twelve people were killed in March when a military helicopter went down in bad weather on Sulawesi in central Indonesia.