MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — The latest on the Indonesian military plane crash (all times local):
Among the 122 people aboard Indonesia’s C-130 military transport plane that crashed into a residential neighborhood were two sisters, their bodies locked in an embrace.
A group of students from a Catholic high school in Medan screamed hysterically when a body bag was opened, revealing the badly bruised corpse of classmate Esther Lina Josephine, 17, clasping her 14-year-old sister.
“She looks like she wanted to protect her younger sister,” says the school’s principal, Tarcisia Hermas. “We’ve lost kind and smart students who had so many creative ideas.”
Hermas said the sisters were traveling during school vacation to see their parents on the remote Natuna island chain, where the father of the teenagers is stationed with the army.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says he has ordered the defense minister and the armed forces commander to undertake a “fundamental overhaul of the management of military weaponry.”
In the wake of the c-130 plane crash that killed more than 140 people, Jokowi said Wednesday the weapons procurement system should be changed.
He says, “we can no longer simply buy weapons, but should think to modernize our weapons systems.”
Indonesia’s air force chief, Air Marshal Agus Supriatna, says he expects no survivors from the plane that crashed on Tuesday.
The air force initially said there were 12 crew members on the plane. But the figures for the people on board have been repeatedly raised since then, indicating lax controls and raising questions about whether the plane was accepting paying passengers despite previous promises to crack down on the practice.
Hitching rides on military planes to reach remote destinations is common in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that spans three time zone
Witnesses said flames and smoke streamed from the plane before it crashed.
Supriatna has said the pilot told the control tower that he needed to turn back because of engine trouble and that the plane crashed while turning right to return to the airport.
Several rows of wooden coffins are lying outside the hospital in Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, where remains of victims of the C-130 Hercules plane crash are being brought in ambulances.
Officers wearing face masks and white gloves are seen carrying the coffins with the bodies that have been identified into trucks for transport to families.
The death toll from Tuesday’s crash jumped to more than 140, indicating a growing list of victims from the neighborhood where the plane went down shortly after takeoff.
The air force says there were 122 people on the plane including military personnel and their families.
A backhoe has been digging at the crash site, which has been turned into a pile of smoldering concrete. The tail of the plane is still standing in the middle of the neighborhood.
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