MEDAN: At least 116 people were killed on Tuesday when an Indonesian air force transport plane crashed into a major city shortly after take-off and exploded in a fireball, officials said.
Buildings were left in ruins and cars reduced to flaming wrecks when the Hercules C-130 came down in a residential area of Medan, a city of two million on the island of Sumatra.
Air force chief Agus Supriatna said the manifest showed there were 113 people on board the plane — 12 crewmembers and 101 passengers — when it crashed, and he did not believe any had survived.
“No, no. No survivors, I have just returned from the site,” he said in answer to a question.
So far 84 bodies had been pulled from the debris and brought to a hospital in Medan, the hospital said.
Many passengers were likely to be family members of servicemen and women, said a spokesman for Medan airbase from where the plane departed. At least one child has so far been confirmed killed.
Search and rescue officials also said that three people were killed on the ground when the 51-year-old plane went down near a newly built residential area, hitting a massage parlour and a small hotel.
Police said rescuers were still trying to get into the ruined massage parlour, a three-storey building, and they did not know whether there were people inside.
A rescue operation swung into action following the crash, with ambulances ferrying bodies from the site.
Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2015