Transportation

Indonesian military transport plane crashes in Papua, killing 13

An Indonesian military Hercules C-130 transport plane crashed Sunday in the easternmost province of Papua, killing all 13 people on board.

Air force chief of staff Agus Supriatna told MetroTV the plane was carrying 12 tons of food supplies and cement from Timika to Wamena, a distance of about 200 kilometers (125 miles), when it crashed just minutes before its scheduled landing.

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He said bad weather was suspected to be the cause of the crash. The plane was carrying three pilots and 10 other personnel.

TV footage showed rescuers and locals had reached the wreckage of the plane and were bringing out the victims.

The plane took off from Timika at 5:35 a.m. and crashed about four minutes before it was scheduled to land in Wamena, the capital of the mountainous district of Jayawijaya.

It was the third serious air accident in Indonesia in less than a month. On Nov. 24, a Bell 412 EP helicopter from the Indonesian army crashed in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, killing three. A week later, a police plane with 13 people aboard crashed into the sea on the way to the island of Batam, near Singapore.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of more than 250 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry sinkings.

The military, which suffers from low funding, has also regularly suffered airplane and helicopter crashes.

In July last year, an air force Hercules crashed into a neighborhood of Medan, Indonesia's third largest city, killing more than 140 people including military personnel, family members traveling with them and people on the ground.