MEDAN – The death toll from the crash of an Indonesian air force transport plane in the city of Medan has risen to 142, police said Wednesday.
“We have received 141 bodies,” Agustinus Tarigan, a police official at a hospital in the city, told AFP.
The plane crashed and exploded in a ball of flames in a residential area of the western city on Tuesday, heavily damaging buildings and reducing cars to flaming wrecks.
The air force revised up the number of people on board the plane to 122, including 12 crew. Previously they said there were 113 people on the aircraft.
The plane crashed into a newly-built residential area in the city of two million people, hitting a massage parlour and a hotel. Search and rescue officials previously confirmed at least three people on the ground had died.
Rescuers were using heavy machinery to clear mountains of debris from the crash site on Wednesday in the hunt for more bodies.
The disaster once again shone a harsh light on Indonesia’s poor aviation safety record. It came just six months after an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board.
It was also the sixth fatal crash involving an Indonesian air force plane in the past decade, according to the Aviation Safety Network, which tracks aviation accidents worldwide. â€“ AFP