All Onboard Killed in Indonesia Plane Crash

The tail belongs to the Air Force Hercules C-130 HS, which crashed in Wamena, Papua, on Dec. 18. The tail belongs to the Air Force Hercules C-130 HS, which crashed in Wamena, Papua, on Dec. 18.

A Hercules C-130 aircraft belonging to the Air Force crashed after hitting Mount Pugima in Kampung Minimo, Maima District, Jayawijaya, Papua, on Sunday morning. All 13 passengers onboard were killed.

Papua police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Mustopa Ahmad Kamal, said the plane crashed into the mountains.

“The plane has been found in District Maima. The team is already on site and is evacuating the crew,” Kamal told Rappler.

He added that the whole crew was confirmed dead. Aboard the aircraft were 3 pilots, 8 technicians, a navigator and a military officer, as well as food and cement.

“12 crew members and the pilot, according to preliminary reports, were all killed,” he said.

Rescuers located the plane debris soon after. All 13 bodies have been recovered, according to the air force.

In a press conference in Jakarta, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force Marshal Hadiyan Sumintaatmadja sent condolences to the family of the Air Force members who died.

“First of all, we express our condolences over the death of the Air Force members who were all on duty. We pray for strength for the bereaved family to deal with this ordeal,” said Hadiyan.

“We apologize to all the people of Indonesia for this unexpected tragedy. We pray for the souls of the soldiers accepted by Allah, the Almighty God.”

  Bad Aviation Record

According to Sumintaatmadja, the Hercules plane, with registration number A-1334, crashed in the vicinity of Wamena, Papua airport. He said the plane was being used for pilot training.

The cause is yet unknown and investigation is ongoing.

Sumintaatmadja said initial reports say the crash was caused by bad weather. He added that the plane was well-maintained.

Indonesia has a patchy aviation safety record. Aircraft are commonly used for transport in remote and mountainous Papua and bad weather has caused several accidents in recent years.

The fatal incident is the latest for Indonesia’s accident-prone military.

In November, an army helicopter accident killed 3 on Borneo, while another 3 died when a military chopper crashed into a home in Central Java in July.

Some 12 people were killed in March when another military helicopter went down in bad weather on Sulawesi in central Indonesia.

But the worst incident in recent times was in June 2015, when an air force Hercules C-130 plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the city of Medan, killing 142 people and causing widespread destruction.


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