At Least 43 Dead After Military Plane Crashes in Indonesian City

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JAKARTA, Indonesia  — Smoke rose among scorched buildings in the Indonesian city of Medan on Tuesday after a military transport plane crashed near a residential neighborhood, killing at least 43 people.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft went down with 12 military personnel on board shortly after taking off from a base in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, said Indonesian military spokesman Maj. Gen. Fuad Basya.

Local television broadcast images of crowds gathering around the plane’s smoldering wreckage amid damaged buildings and a charred car.

At least 43 bodies have been recovered from the crash site, said Zulkifli, an official from the Indonesian Red Cross who goes by only one name. But he said there are more bodies at the crash site.

“There are definitely more than 50 victims,” he said.

It was unclear what caused the disaster.

Basya said the aircraft, built in the United States in the 1960s, had been inspected and cleared to fly before it took off from Soewondo Air Force Base.

It was carrying logistical supplies for bases on other Indonesian islands.

The crash site is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the air base, he said.

Indonesia’s national news agency Antara reported that the plane hit a busy road that connects Medan with the highland tourist resort of Brastagi.

CNN’s Kathy Quiano reported from Jakarta, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. CNN’s Roger Clark and journalist Tasha Tampubolon contributed to this report.