June 30, 2015 (by Asif Shamim) - An Indonesian Air Force C-130 reported to be #A-1310 crashed in a residential neighborhood of the city of Medan in North Sumatra. Updated reports indicate 100 plus people have been killed.
An Indonesian Air Force C-130 crashed in the residential neighborhood of the city of Medan in North Sumatra on June 30, 2015. [Photographer unknown]
Military spokesman Fuad Basya said that twelve personnel, including the pilot, had been aboard the C-130 Hercules. The bodies of five had been found.
The C-130 was outbound just after midday from the base at Medan heading for Tanjungpinang in the remote Riau Islands before crashing minutes after take off according to Basya. Media said the pilot had asked to return because of technical problems.
Eyewitnesses said the plane was seen circling the air space at low altitude before it crashed.
Local press and TV showed the neighbourhood where the crash took place. Buildings in the area are still in flames with a plumes of black smoke raising into the sky.
Sairi M. Saragih, a public relations official at the nearby Adam Malik Central General Hospital, said 11 bodies had been brought in so far. The toll since then has risen to over 100 during the recovery process.
Initially spokesman had only referred to the crew of the C-130 as being on-board, but as the day wound on it became clear the flight had a manifest of passengers. The air force repeatedly raised the numbers of people aboard, indicating lax controls and raising questions about whether the plane was accepting paying passengers despite previous promises to crack down on the practice.
The Air Force Chief Air Marshal Agus Supriatna will investigate the allegations of paying passengers hitching rides on the military cargo plane and went onto say only authorized military personnel and their families were allowed on-board.
It is the second time in 10 years that an air plane has crashed into a Medan neighborhood. In September 2005, a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff from Medan's Polonia airport, into a crowded residential community, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground.