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113 Feared Dead in Indonesian Military Plane Crash
   2015-06-30 15:41:25    Xinhua      Web Editor: Yangyang

Firefighter try to extinguish the fire of an Indonesian military plane Hercules C-130 which has crashed just two minutes after taking off in the city of Medan in Sumatra, Indonesia, June 30, 2015. At least 30 bodies including five crews have been sent to Adam Malik hospital from the crash site in downtown area in Indonesia's North Sumatra capital city of Medan. A Hercules C-130 plane has crashed into a residential area of Medan city in Sumatra on Tuesday. [Photo: Xinhua/Gatha Ginting]

Some 113 people were feared dead after a military plane carrying them crashed into the downtown of Indonesia's North Sumatra capital city of Medan, the country's Air Force chief said on Tuesday.

Some 101 civilians and 12 military crew were on board the C-130 Hercules plane, Air Marshall Agus Supriatna told a local TV channel in Medan.

The Air Force chief also said that 23 bodies have been identified in Adam Malik hospital in Medan from 49 body bags received by the hospital as of the afternoon.

"In the PAUM (Military Air Transport Flight) mission, besides carrying logistics the plane also carried troops transferred to serve in several regions along with their family members. We are yet to have information on how many family members each troop had carried along in the plane," Agus said.

However, local media reports said that the plane also carried civilian passengers that are not from military families, who were picked up from airports it stopped over prior to the crash.

Agus said that the plane serving Malang air forces base departed from Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta early Tuesday morning and made stopovers in Pekanbaru, Riau and Dumai to pick up troops to be transferred to other regions.

He said that the plane was on its route to transport logistics and personnel to Tanjung Pinang and Natuna islands.

An official at Indonesia's Search and Rescue (Basarnas) Medan branch told Xinhua earlier in the day that manifest of the crashed plane indicates that the plane was boarded by 55 persons. That figure did not include 12 plane crews operating the ill-fated plane.

According to Agus, the plane's pilot asked for RTB (Return to Base) procedure to air traffic control officers before the crash, which happened shortly before noon. He said the request suggested that a problem has occurred in the plane. Indonesian military has set up a team to investigate the plane crash.

Agus said the plane was manufactured in 1964 and served the air forces' 32 Squadron based in Malang, East Java. Indonesia is the largest operator of C-130 Hercules in the southern hemisphere with 28 such planes in service at the moment.

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