Posted by News Express | 30 June 2015 | 2,646 times
At least 30 people have been killed in a military transport plane crash in a residential area of the Indonesian city of Medan, officials say.
Local TV reported that the Hercules crashed into two houses and a car and burst into flames.
Military spokesman Fuad Basya told the BBC that the plane came down soon after take-off and that there were at least 12 crew members on board.
Officials say that bodies were recovered from the plane wreckage.
A major rescue operation is under way at the crash site which is still covered in flames and thick black smoke.
Large crowds are watching the emergency services search the flaming wreckage, with the fuselage of the aircraft visible through the thick plumes of smoke. Buildings in the area of the crash were clearly damaged.
“I saw the plane from the direction of the airport and it was tilting already, then I saw smoke billowing,” a local resident told the AFP news agency.
Air Force Chief of Staff Agus Supriatna told Metro Television that the pilot had asked to return to base because of technical difficulties shortly before the crash.
Correspondents say that it is the second time in 10 years that a plane has crashed into the Medan neighbourhood.
In September 2005, a Boeing 737 came down in a crowded residential area shortly after take-off from Medan’s Polonia airport, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground.
The latest crash in Medan is one of several involving military aircraft since 2009.
In April, an F-16 fighter jet caught fire as it was about to take off from an airbase in the capital, Jakarta, a month after two air force planes from an Indonesian aerobatics team crashed during a practice session.
In 2012, nine people were killed after an Indonesian air force plane crashed into a housing complex in the east of Jakarta.
And in 2009 an Indonesian military transport plane carrying troops and their families crashed in Java, killing 98 people. (AFP)
•AFP photo shows crowd gathered at the crash site.
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