Indonesian Military Plane Crashes in Jakarta, 132 Killed
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ An Indonesian military transport plane carrying airmen who had just participated in an Armed Forces Day ceremony crashed shortly after takeoff today, killing all 132 aboard, the military said.
Witnesses said the plane plowed into a government building as it crashed, and a rescue official said a security guard at the building was killed.
The announcement from armed forces headquarters said the C-130 Hercules transport crashed and exploded about two miles south of Jakarta’s Halim Perdana Kusuma airport, which was previously the international airport and is now a military airfield.
The military announcement, which was broadcast on the state television, said the cause of the crash was being investigated.
The witnesses said wreckage was scattered for about 500 yards from the crash site in the eastern part of the city. One propeller was found about 200 yards from the destroyed government building, a training center operated by the Department of Labor.
Ambulances converged on the scene, and rescuers were seen putting bodies in brown bags and removing them.
One rescuer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 128 bodies had been recovered, many badly mutilated. Troops and police cordoned off the area, causing a huge traffic jam.
The four-engine aircraft had taken off at midafternoon, bound for the West Java capital of Bandung, officials said. It was carrying 120 passengers and a crew of 12, the rescue official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier.
Other than the security guard who was reported killed, it was not known if anyone else was in the building at the time of the crash.
A doctor at an army hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pilot, identified as Maj. Samsul Ilham, was brought to the hospital alive, badly burned, but died a short time later.
The rescue official said one of the plane’s engines caught fire about three minutes after the plane took off, and the fourth engine failed. Some eyewitnesses said the plane was already on fire when it crashed.
″We heard about three deafening explosions and then we all rushed to the crash site to see fires and smoke from the burning building and wreckage of the plane,″ one witness saidsaid.
Columns of smoke were still rising from the crash site hours later.
Heavy downpour an hour after the crash slowed the work of military rescue workers. About 10 ambulances and a helicopter joined the rescue teams at the crash site.