Indonesian plane crash: Engine blamed

2015-07-02 19:00
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PICS: Deadly Indonesia military plane crash

An Indonesian air force transport plane has crashed into a residential area of a major city shortly after take-off, exploding and killing at least 38 people. View pics from the crash here.

Jakarta - An engine malfunction was likely the cause of the crash of an Indonesian military plane in Medan city, the Air Force chief said on Thursday. 

At least 142 people were killed when the Hercules C-130 aircraft ploughed into houses and commercial buildings on Tuesday two minutes after leaving the Soewondo airbase in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.

"After take-off the aircraft experienced trouble because the climb rate remained low," Air Marshal Agus Supriatna told Kompas TV. 

"This was likely caused by a malfunction in one of the engines," he said. 

The aircraft banked to the right and hit an antenna tower, he said.

"This could mean that there was a malfunction with the right engine."  

Local media reported that Second Corporal Saryanto, an Air Force member who was killed in the crash, had a brother who also died in a similar accident involving another Hercules C-130 in 1991. 

Saryanto's brother, Second Sergeant Sudiyono, died along with 134 others when the aircraft crashed into a neighbourhood in East Jakarta shortly after take-off 24 years ago.

"Since he was a little boy, Saryanto had always wanted to be an Air Force member, following the footsteps of his brother," another brother, Suroso, was quoted as saying by Sindo. 

"He saw his brother wearing the uniform and he wanted to wear it too," Suroso said. 

The death of Saryanto, the youngest in the family, came just four months after another tragedy, the death of his father.

The latest accident has renewed attention to Indonesia's poor aviation safety record and ageing military hardware.

It came just six months after an AirAsia Indonesia plane en route from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people. 

Three crashes involving the Indonesian military's C-130 aircraft have killed more than 370 people since 1991.

The Air Force said 122 people, mostly military personnel and their families, were on the plane when it crashed on Tuesday. 

It was not clear how many people were killed on the ground. The spokesperson at Medan's Adam Malik hospital said 142 bodies were brought in from the crash site.

Armed forces spokesperson Fuad Basya said earlier that eight people were known to have died on the ground.

Police said only 56 victims had been identified.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  plane crashes

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