Security forces and rescue teams examine the wreckage of an Indonesian military C-130 Hercules transport plane after it crashed into a residential area in the North Sumatran city of Medan on June 30. (Reuters Photo/Roni Bintang)

141 Bodies Retrieved from Hercules C-130 Crash Site


JULY 01, 2015

Medan. Search and rescue workers have retrieved 141 bodies from the wreckage of a military plane that crashed in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday, with many more feared dead and still trapped beneath the debris.

Forensics experts have identified 23 military personnel out of the 141 bodies pulled from the site, where a Hercules C-130 military transport aircraft crashed into a residential area shortly after takeoff on Tuesday.

“The bodies have been evacuated to Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan,” Sr. Comr. Setyo, the forensics chief at the North Sumatra Police, said on Wednesday.

“There were identity cards and names on the victims’ uniforms so they were recognized quickly,” he said of the 23 bodies identified so far, adding that four of the bodies had already been handed over to their families.

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has launched an investigation to determine whether the aircraft had been used for civilian transport purposes, a rent-seeking practice common in areas underserved by commercial air links.

An initial probe suggests the plane’s operators had indeed been ferrying passengers for money.

“We can confirm that soldiers’ family members were on board; their wives and children, but if there were other people who paid for the trip we will seek responsibility from the unit’s commander,” a military official said.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transportation plane carrying 12 crew members and 109 passengers, crashed two minutes after taking off from the Soewondo air base on Tuesday afternoon, killing everyone on board as well as people on the ground.