Truth Frequency Radio

Jun 30, 2015

Dozens are feared dead or injured after an Indonesian military plane crashed in a residential area in Sumatra and burst into flames today.


An image of the scene posted on Twitter. (@news_executive)

An Indonesian military transport plane crashed on Tuesday shortly after take-off in the city of Medan on Sumatra island, exploding in a ball of flames and damaging nearby buildings.

The C130 Hercules crashed into two houses and a car, local media said.

Reported photo of the scene on twitter (@GerryS)

“We don’t know yet the number of people on board or how many casualties have been caused,” military spokesman Fuad Basya said.

Pictures showed the aircraft and several surrounding cars on fire with thick billowing black smoke.

There was no immediate information on the number of people on board or any casualties on the ground after the plane went down. Metro TV reported there may have been 13 people on board.

Indonesian police and military officials secure the crash site (AFP)

Dramatic pictures on social media showed large crowds and emergency services gathering around the flaming wreckage, with the fuselage of the aircraft visible among thick plumes of black smoke. Buildings in the vicinity of the crash zone were also clearly damaged.

Eyewitnesses said the plane was seen circling the air space at low altitude before it crashed.

Air force operations commander Agus Dwi Putranto said on local television there were 12 crew members on the plane. The total number of passengers on board was unknown.

“A Hercules was… transporting military logistics from Medan,” military spokesman Fuad Basya told AFP. The plane took off at 12.08 pm from an air force base and crashed in the city about two minutes later about five kilometres from the base, he said.

Residents gather next to the crash site (AFP)

Air force spokesman Dwi Badarmanto said a rescue effort was underway.

Asked about potential casualties, Mr Fuad said: “We don’t know for sure but inside there will be the plane crew, pilot, but I don’t know how many.”

“The latest information we have is that 30 have died…. The number could go up,” Mr Hisar Turnip, a spokesman for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told Reuters.

A doctor at a Medan hospital, told Reuters only patients with light injuries had so far been received, with Adam Malik hospital spokeswoman Sairi M. Saragih later saying the hospital had received five bodies so far.

The crash site in Medan. (Metro TV)

The plane was on its way from an air force base in Medan to the remote Natuna islands and crashed a few minutes after takeoff, Mr Fuad said. Media said the pilot had asked to return because of technical problems.

Mardiaz Dwihananto, police chief of Medan city where the accident happened, told AFP that five to six bodies had so far been recovered from wreckage of the plane and buildings after the crash in a residential area. “The bodies were in (the) debris of the plane and buildings… we are taking the bodies one by one by ambulance to Adam Malik hospital. We haven’t managed to evacuate all of the bodies.”

It is the second time in 10 years that an air plane has crashed into a Medan neighborhood. In September 2005, a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff from Medan’s Polonia airport, into a crowded residential community, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground.

Medan, with about 3.4 million people, is the third most populous city in Indonesia after the capital Jakarta and Surabaya.