1 Jul 2015

Over 140 dead in Indonesia plane crash

9:26 pm on 1 July 2015

Indonesian officials say at least 140 bodies have been recovered after a military transport plane crashed in a residential area of Medan in Sumatra.

A relative of military personnel grieves during a send-off ceremony at the military airbase in Medan on 1 July.

A relative of military personnel grieves during a send-off ceremony at the military airbase in Medan on 1 July. Photo: AFP

The military said none of the 122 people on board the 51-year-old Hercules C-130 survived when it hit houses and a hotel before bursting into flames.

Many of the victims are thought to have been relatives of servicemen and women.

But the latest death toll has indicated there were at least 19 people killed on the ground.

The BBC's Alice Budisatrijo in Jakarta said the military had repeatedly revised the passenger list, a sign of how loosely the military keeps track of who gets on its planes.

It has also been investigating whether some of those on board were paying passengers which is not permitted, she added.

Police official Agustinus Tarigan told reporters at a Medan hospital that 141 bodies had been received, while AFP reported that the death toll had risen to 142.

It was not clear what caused the crash, which happened shortly after take-off, but officials said the pilot had asked to return to base because of technical problems.

- BBC / Agencies

Soldiers search the tail wreckage at the crash site of the aircraft on Wednesday.

Soldiers search the tail wreckage at the crash site of the aircraft on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Firefighters at the site of the crash.

Firefighters at the site of the crash shortly after it happened. Photo: AFP