Military plane crashes in Indonesia

The Associated PressMay 20, 2009 

— An Indonesian military plane carrying more than 100 people crashed and burst into flames Wednesday, killing at least 68 people, officials said.

Dozens of people were injured and more were feared dead, with local television flashing footage of fire engulfing the wreckage and soldiers carrying bodies on stretchers. Some were badly burned.

Air force spokesman Bambang Sulistyo said the C-130 Hercules, carrying 112 passengers and crew, was on a routine training mission when it crashed near an air force base in East Java province. It smashed into four houses in Geplak village before skidding into a rice field.

"We heard a loud explosion," Wardi, a villager who goes by only one name, told El-Shinta radio. He said the plane was shaking before it tumbled to the ground and appeared to have split in two.

The death toll stood at 68, said Suyono, a spokesman at the air force base in East Java province who also uses one name, adding that he expected the number to climb.

The country's air force has long complained of being underfunded and handicapped by a recently lifted U.S. ban on weapons sales. It has suffered a series of accidents, including a Fokker 27 plane that crashed into an airport hangar last month, killing all 24 onboard.

A series of commercial airline crashes in recent years has killed more than 120 people in Indonesia.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service