Wednesday, 1 July 2015

141 bodies recovered from Indonesia plane crash

The death toll from the crash of an air force transport plane in the Indonesian city of Medan jumped to more than 140 on Wednesday, indicating a growing list of victims from the neighborhood where the plane went down.

North Sumatra police major A. Tarigan told TVOne that 141 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a residential area where the C-130 Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff on Tuesday.

A three-storey building was left in ruins and a car destroyed on the ground when the C-130 Hercules crashed in Medan on the island of Sumatra shortly after take-off on Tuesday.

The plane's manifest showed there were 113 people on board the plane - 12 crew and 101 passengers - when it came down.

Air force chief Agus Supriatna said he did not think anyone survived the crash.

"No survivors, I have just returned from the site," he said. It is thought many of the passengers were families of military personnel. At least one child has been confirmed among the dead.

The local search and rescue agency told AFP news agency that three people were killed on the ground. Rescue teams were using heavy machinery to remove the mangled wreckage of the plane as they combed the through the rubble.

Air Marshal Supriatna said the pilot told the control tower the plane needed to turn back because of engine trouble. "The plane crashed while it was turning right to return to the airport," Mr Supriatna said.

Novi, who works at an international school near the accident site and goes by one name, said she heard the aircraft and saw it flying very low before it crashed. "It was very scary," she said, adding that she rushed to the site with her colleagues but the wreckage and plumes of smoke looked "very bad".

Janson Halomoan Sinagam said several of his relatives were on the plane when it left Medan, a city of two million people, on its journey to the remote island chain of Natuna.

"We just want to know their fate," he told a reporter from MetroTV, weeping. "But we have not yet received any information from the hospital."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo tweeted: "May the families be given patience and strength... May we remain protected from disaster."

Hitching rides on military planes to reach remote destinations is common in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that spans three time zones.

Between 2007 and 2009, the EU barred Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe because of safety concerns.

The country's most recent civilian airline disaster was in December, when an AirAsia jet with 162 people on board crashed into the Java Sea en route from Surabaya to Singapore.

Wednesday 1 July 2015


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