Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Asia / Pacific.

 
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May 24, 2009

An Indonesian military transport plane carrying 110 passengers and crew crashed and burst into flames in East Java Wednesday, killing at least 97 people including some on the ground, officials said. The C-130 Hercules aircraft plowed into several houses on the ground, scattering debris and sending flames and billowing smoke into the air, television footage showed of the latest incident in Indonesia's poor air safety record. Rustam Pakaya, the head of the health ministry's crisis centre, said 97 people had been killed and 15 injured, including some on the ground. "Some victims are still at the crash site," said air force spokesman Bambang Soelistyo. He said the plane, with 11 crew and 99 passengers, had crashed about 6.5 km (4 miles) from the Iswahyudi air force base in East Java while preparing to land. National military spokesman Sagom Tamboen told a news conference the aircraft had been in good condition and the weather was clear before the crash. The plane had been on a regular flight from Jakarta to the Iswahyudi air base in Magetan to transport military personnel and their families. It had been due to fly on to Sulawesi and Papua. Television footage from the scene showed people desperately trying to extinguish flames with buckets of water. "About 15 meters (50 feet) of the tail is still intact, but the body to the front is broken and burned," said Suwardi, a sub-district head in Magetan. "Earlier we heard blasts. But not anymore, now the plane is still on fire," added Suwardi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. He said that the crash took place at about 6:30 am local time and the site was difficult to reach because it was on the fringe of a rice field. The crash site is near the border of the districts of Madiun and Magetan in East Java, about 150 km (90 miles) southwest of Indonesia's...

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