Indonesia Plane Crash Death Toll Rises | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Indonesia Plane Crash Death Toll Rises

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 at 7:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Indonesian officials said 141 bodies have been recovered after a military transport plane crashed in a residential area of Medan on Tuesday.

The military said none of the 122 people on board the Hercules C-130 survived when it hit houses and a hotel before bursting into flames.

Many of the victims are thought to have been relatives of servicemen and women.

But the latest death toll indicates there were at least 19 people killed on the ground.

Police official Agustinus Tarigan told reporters at a Medan hospital on Wednesday morning that 141 bodies had been received.

One official told the Jakarta Globe newspaper that some of the victims had to be identified by blood samples.

President Joko Widodo used Twitter to send his condolences to the families, wishing them “patience and strength.”

He also said he had ordered the military to carry out a “fundamental overhaul of the management of military weaponry.”

The cause of the crash is not yet known, but witnesses said the plane appeared to run into trouble shortly after taking off from Medan – Indonesia’s third largest city – for Tanjung Pinang, an island off Sumatra.

“It passed overhead a few times, really low,” a witness named Elfrida Efi said.

“There was fire and black smoke. The third time it came by it crashed into the roof of the hotel and exploded straight away.”

Air Force head Agus Supriatna said on Tuesday that the pilot had asked to return to base because of technical difficulties.

“The plane crashed while it was turning right to return to the airport,’’ he said.