Indonesian Air Force to investigate C-130 transport plane crash

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Air Force will conduct a thorough assessment over the C-130 transport plane which crashed on Jamin Ginting road in Medan, North Sumatra Province, on Tuesday.

"We are still conducting an evaluation related to cause of the crash," The Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Agus Supriatna said here on Tuesday.

 Supriatna remarked that the Air Forces team is investigating comprehensively the causes, the number of dead passengers and so on.

"We want to complete the investigation as soon as possible but it is not easy. Moreover, we do not have witnesses because we do not know the condition of the passengers and crew members," he said.

Related to the total number of victims, Supriatna stated that his team is still collecting the civilian passenger data.

Earlier, five of 12 Indonesian Air Force personnel aboard the C-130 plane, died, a military spokesman said.

"There are 12 crew members aboard the plane. All are personnel of the Air Force. Five of them have been confirmed dead," Indonesian military (TNI) spokesman Major General Fuad Basya told local media.

The fate of seven others was not known yet but the bodies of the fallen soldiers had been transported to Adam Malik Hospital for a postmortem examination, he said.

"But I cannot verify their personal identities," he said adding that the ill-fated transport plane, which crashed shortly after taking off from Polonia Air Force base was "fit for flying".

The transport plane with registration number A-1310 crashed shortly after taking off from Polonia airbase on its flight from Medan to Tanjung Pinang and Natuna Island in Riau Islands Province, the TV station reported.

The ill-fated aircraft carried supplies from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force base in Jakarta to several air bases, such as Pekanbaru, Medan, Tanjung Pinang, Ranai (Natuna Island) and Pontianak.

The exact figure of casualties has yet to be known but the crash site is widely known as one of the busiest roads connecting Medan and Brastagi tourist resort.