116 feared dead in Indonesia military plane crash: Officials
Iran Press TV
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:22AM
At least 116 people are feared dead after a military transport plane crashed in the city of Medan on Indonesia's western island of Sumatra, officials say.
Air Force Chief Agus Supriatna said on Tuesday that according to the manifest there were 113 people on board the Hercules C-130 plane - 12 crew and 101 passengers - when it crashed, adding that he did not believe any had survived.
Responding to a question by AFP, he said, 'No, no. No survivors, I have just returned from the site.'
So far, 49 bodies had been recovered, he added.
Meanwhile, the local search and rescue agency also said that three people were killed on the ground when the plane crashed near a newly built residential area.
The plane, which was on its way from Soewondo air base in Medan to the remote Natuna islands, crashed into houses and cars and burst into flames a few minutes after take-off at 12:08 p.m. local time (0508 GMT) on Tuesday, local TV reported.
The aircraft, in service since 1964, might have come down due to a technical problem, the Indonesian Air Force chief told Indonesia's Metro TV earlier, adding that the pilot had asked to return to Soewondo before the accident.
"I saw the plane from the direction of the airport and it was tilting already, then I saw smoke billowing," a local resident told AFP.
A massive search and rescue operation swung into action minutes after the incident.
"We have asked our search and rescue office in Medan to immediately go to the site for evacuation of any victims," search and rescue official Tatang Zainuddin said.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|