REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- President Director of PT Istaka Karya Sigit Winarto confirmed that 28 workers had become victims of an attack by the Armed Criminal Group in Papua, but they had yet to be evacuated from the site. Hence, the company will focus on evacuating the victims.
It was earlier reported that 31 workers of the company were killed in the attack. However, Winarto remarked that the company, so far, confirmed that 28 workers had become victims.
"However, we are still coordinating to know the real number. We have not been able to ascertain the number of victims," Winarto remarked during a press conference at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing related to the tragedy that befell bridge construction workers in Papua Province on Tuesday.
He said that every work related to the Trans Papua Section project was always coordinated with the security forces.
"We raise awareness and undertake internal security mechanisms. We also collaborate with the local workers and administrators," Winarto noted.
Winarto admitted that most workers came from Sulawesi. However, the identity of the victims will be reported after the completion of the evacuation process, and they will be rushed to Wamena.
According to Winarto, several disturbing events had occurred in the development process of Trans Papua. He explained all of them could be overcome through negotiations at the local level.
"Actually, we have satellite phones in the field. However, one to three days before the incident, satellite phones could not be reached. Until now, I have not been able to establish any contact," he explained.
Currently, work on this project has been postponed, pending a recommendation by the security forces.
"Our team and the minister will visit Wamena tonight too. We have to make it clear as soon as possible. We will go to the location, and the most important aspect is the evacuation of victims," he stated.
Winarto also added that work on the project, valued at Rp184 billion, had begun since 2016 and planned for completion by the end of 2019.