UPDATE 4 – Plane crash leaves at least 35 dead in Indonesia


Air force plane crashed shortly after takeoff into residential area of North Sumatra’s provincial capital, killing at least 35 people



By Ainur Rohmah

JAKARTA – An Indonesian air force cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff Tuesday into a busy residential area of North Sumatra’s provincial capital, leaving at least 35 people dead.

Images obtained by Anadolu Agency from the site showed that the plane had crushed houses and cars. Smoke billowed from the plane’s wreckage as rescue teams frantically searched for survivors. 

State news agency Antara cited officials from the local Adam Malik Hospital as saying that 35 bodies had been recovered from the area. It was not clear how many belonged to those on board the plane or bystanders.  

A spokesperson for Medan search and rescue told Anadolu Agency that the plane had crushed two buildings.

The Hercules cargo plane had been carrying 12 crew when it crashed at 12.08 (0608GMT). They are all understood to have died.

Indonesian news site Kompas.com reported that the pilot had requested permission to return to Soewondo Air Force Base in Medan shortly after takeoff.

Military spokesperson Major General Fuad Basya earlier told Anadolu Agency “We don’t know yet why it crashed… Army commander General Moeldoko has ordered an investigation.”

The plane had been headed to Tanjung Pinang, Riau Islands province, on a logistics mission.

Guntur, a witness who like many Indonesians uses only one name, told Kompas.com that fire and thick smoke could be seen at the site, where the plane had left a small crater.