Indonesian plane crashes, dozens dead

May 19, 2009 7:43:30 PM PDT
A military plane carrying 112 people crashed and burst into flames on an Indonesian island Wednesday. Indonesian radio is reporting at least 57 people killed and dozens injured. Many more were feared dead, with Indonesian television flashing footage of flames engulfing the wreckage and soldiers carrying bodies on stretchers. Witnesses said many of the victims were badly burned.

Air force spokesman Bambang Sulistyo said the C-130 Hercules, carrying 112 passengers and crew, was on a routine training mission when it crashed near an air force base in East Java province.

It smashed into four houses in Gaplak village, before skidding into a rice field.

The country's air force has long complained of being underfunded and handicapped by a recently lifted U.S. ban on weapons sales. It has suffered a series of accidents, including a Fokker 27 plane that crashed into an airport hangar last month, killing all 24 onboard.

A series of commercial airline crashes in recent years has killed more than 120 people in Indonesia.

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