Source Pravda.Ru

Indonesian crash killed 131, many on ground

A domestic jetliner crashed into a residential neighborhood in Indonesia seconds after takeoff Monday, bursting into flames and killing 131 people, many on the ground. Fifteen passengers survived the inferno, officials said.

The accident in the north Sumatran city of Medan was the second deadly crash in Indonesia in nine months.

The Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 was heading to Jakarta in overcast weather when it plowed into a row of houses and skidded onto a busy road.

The plane was carrying 116 passengers and crew, not 117 as earlier reported. One person listed on the manifest missed the flight, said Alex Widjojo, a spokesman for the airline.

Widjojo and Medan police Chief Col. Irawan Dahlan both said that 15 passengers had survived, according to the AP.

Zainul Tahar, who is coordinating the search and rescue efforts, said from the scene that 30 residents were also killed when the plane crashed. Hospitals in the city were treating at least a dozen injured residents, officials said.

One of the six survivors from the aircraft, Rohadi Sitepu, said all were in the back of the plane.

"The plane had already taken off but suddenly it started shaking and banked steeply to the left and then bang, there was fire everywhere," Sitepu told Metro TV station from his hospital bed. "The whole thing only took a matter of seconds."

Hundreds of policemen, paramedics and residents evacuated victims, but Syahrial Anas, a doctor overseeing the removal of charred bodies, said flames and the thousands of people wanting to visit the crash site hampered their efforts.

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