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Indonesia military plane crash: Death toll rises to 141

The death toll from the crash of an Indonesian air force transport plane in the city of Medan has risen to 141, police said Wednesday (July 1).

Mr Agustinus Tarigan, a police official at a hospital in the city, told AFP that they have received 141 bodies.

The plane had been packed with military personnel and their families. 

Mr Tarigan said so far 45 people had been identified – 30 air force personnel, six army personnel and nine civilians.

Most of those so far identified “were from the armed forces because they were wearing uniform,” he said.

He said officials were working to identify the others by examining “things we found on the bodies of the victims such as ID cards, or a ring”.

Rescuers were using heavy machinery to clear mountains of debris from the crash site on Wednesday in the hunt for more bodies.


A family member of a victim at Adam Malik hospital in the North Sumatra city of Medan, IndonesiA. PHOTO: ANTARA FOTO

The plane crashed and exploded in a ball of flames in a residential area of the city on Tuesday (June 30), heavily damaging buildings and reducing cars to flaming wrecks.

The plane also hit a massage parlour and a hotel. 

Earlier, Indonesia's air force chief Agus Supriatna said: “No, no. No survivors, I have just returned from the site."

The air force revised up the number of people on board the plane to 122, including 12 crew. Previously they said there were 113 people on the aircraft.

On Twitter, Indonesia’s president, Mr Joko Widodo has called for an evaluation of the country’s ageing air force fleet.

 

It was the sixth fatal crash involving an air force plane in the past decade, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

The crash also comes just six months after an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board, and has shone a harsh light on Indonesia's poor aviation safety record. 

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