Death toll rises to 79 in Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash

An Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules carrying 98 passengers and 14 crew on a regular flight from the capital, Jakarta, to the eastern most province of Papua crashed in a rice field at about 06:20 (23:20-1 GMT) in Geplak village and burst into flames crashed into several homes and burst into flames Wednesday, killing at least 79 people, including two on the ground.

Nineteen survivors have been rescued and transported to hospital. Recovery of badly burnt bodies continues and we can expect the death toll to increase. Local television is reported to be flashing footage of fire engulfed mangled wreckage.

The aircraft was transporting troops and their families, including at least 10 children, when it tumbled from the sky near an air force base in East Java province smashing in to a row of houses in Geplak village, killing three on the ground, before skidding into a rice field. Large chunks of the wreckage lie strewn across the paddy fields and bordering bushes.

It was not clear what caused the crash, but several witnesses described hearing a large explosion while it was still in the air and then seeing it split apart.

The Indonesian Air Force is still recovering from the crippling effects of sanctions and low budget allocations. This is the second fatal accident involving their planes in recent weeks. Just 5 weeks earlier, on April 6, a Fokker F-27 crashed and burst into flames in West Java’s capital, Bandung, killing all 24 officers on board.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

Check Also

In new strategy Etihad invests in Darwin Airlines, re-brands it Etihad Regional

by Devesh Agarwal Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, today announced …