An aged military aircraft carrying 122 people on board, crashed into a populated Indonesian city of Medan, on Tuesday, killing another twenty on ground. The searches and rescue operations are continuing still on Wednesday, as 142 dead bodies have been found by this morning, said Sari Saragih, spokesperson for Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan, where the bodies have been brought for identification. The military’s chief spokesman, Major General Fuad Basya, said that, there were no survivors among the crew and passengers and the reason for the crash remains unknown.
The fifty year old Hercules C-130, crashed towards the ground, ruining several buildings and crushing down vehicles. Coming out of the fuming wreck the part of city had become, Armed forces spokesman Fuad Basya said, “No, no. No survivors, I have just returned from the site”.
Around 101 of the people, who died on board, were the family members of military personnel and 12 others were military people themselves. According to Air Chief Marshall Agus Supriatna, the plane crashed shortly after it took off from the Soewondo Airforce Base, in Medan. Taking note of the bad technical conditions, the pilot was reportedly asking for permission to return to the base.
“There must be an evaluation of the age of planes and defence systems,” President Joko Widodo’s tweet came late on Tuesday, as this was one among the several aircraft tragedies that have happened in and around Medan.
In 2005, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Mandala Airlines, a low-cost carrier, overran a runway during a fake take off, killing 100 passengers and crew members and 49 people on the ground.
Local people recall the incident with extreme terror. “It was scary”, says Novi, an employee at an international school, nearby. “I saw the plane from the direction of the airport and it was tilting already, then I saw smoke billowing”, said another local.