Around 116 persons were feared dead after an Indonesian air force transport plane crashed on 30 June just after take-off and exploded in the northern Sumatra city of Medan, according to officials.
There were 113 persons on board, including 12 crew, when it crashed, said Air force chief Agus Supriatna, and he did-n’t believe any had survived.
“There is no question of any survivors. I have just returned from the site,” he told AFP.
The burning Hercules C-130 came down in a residential area of Medan, a city of two million population, ruining buildings and reducing cars to burning wrecks.
Ambulances transporting bodies from the site, and crowds of anxious onlookers gathered around a police cordon to view the wreckage.
The 51-year-old plane, which was in “good condition” came down in a newly built residential area and hit a massage parlour and a small hotel.
So far, 49 bodies had been recovered and taken to hospital, said Supriatna. Passengers are likely to be family members of servicemen, said a spokesman for Medan airbase, where the plane took off.
“The aircraft was transporting military logistics from Medan,” military spokesperson Fuad Basya told AFP.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressing sorrow, tweeted, “May the families be given patience and strength… May we remain protected from disaster.”
The plane took off at 12.08pm (0508 GMT) from the airbase and crashed in the city about two minutes later. Soon after take off, the pilot had asked to return to base, Supriatna said, adding the aircraft might have suffered engine trouble.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering his condolences, tweeted: “News of the plane crash in Indonesia is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with those injured.”