More Bodies Recovered After Military Plane Crashed Into Indonesian City

The death toll continues to rise after a military plane crashed shortly after takeoff in a small city of Indonesia on Tuesday, reports CNN.

More than 24 hours after the aging military plane carrying 122 people crashed in a residential area of an Indonesian city, an aggregate of 141 bodies have been recovered from the crash site, and the death toll continues to rise.

According to Bloomberg Business, at 11:48 a.m. on Tuesday, the military plane took-off from the city of Medan when the pilot noticed the aircraft was having difficulties. He asked to return the plane back to the Air Force base, but as the plane attempted to do so, it crashed two minutes later, killing everyone on board.

“It passed overhead a few times, really low,” said a woman who witnessed the crash. “There was fire and black smoke. The third time it came by it crashed into the roof of the hotel and exploded straight away.”

“Excessive takeoff weight will probably be one scenario that will be examined,” said Ken Conboy, who is the country manager at RMA Indonesia.

After the plane crash, investigators were concerned with the age of the plane, which was 51-years-old, but a military spokesperson said: “The plane was very much fit to fly. Don’t look at the age, look at flight time.”

Although authorities are still making attempts to uncover what caused the military plane to crash, they do suspect that the plane may have encountered engine problems shortly after takeoff considering the pilot wanted to return to base.

Indra Bakara, whose cousin was on board C-130 when it crashed, told reporters that his cousin had paid $75 to be transported to Natuna. Apparently, the passengers on board the military plane were the family of soldiers who were being transported to a new location, which is quite common in Indonesia according to residents.

“Lack of transportation to Natuna has forced us to go there by military flight, no choice,” Bakara said. “But now we realize we cannot expect any compensation or insurance or even an apology from the military over this accident.”

All 141 bodies that were recovered from the military crash site were immediately transported to Adam Malik Hospital. A spokeswoman said that they have thus far identified more than 60 bodies, but will not release their names at this time.

[Image courtesy of Ashley Pon / Getty Images]