by Chi Ibe
News coming from Indonesia has confirmed that an air force plane slammed into a military housing complex and ignited a huge fire yesterday. the crash killed everyone on board and about three people in their home including two children.
Huffington explains that the pilot, co-pilot and five trainees aboard the Fokker F-27 were on a routine training flight when it crashed into houses in a neighborhood about 1.5 kilometers (nearly a mile) from the runway where it was trying to land. Six of the people aboard the plane died instantly, and the co-pilot died later while being treated at a hospital, air force spokesman Rear Adm. Azman Yunus said.
Another Twelve people were injured, two of them critically and eight houses destroyed.
“I could hardly believe my eyes. There was a military plane that crashed and hit the houses!” said Hendra, a resident of the air force complex who goes by only one name. “At once, the situation turned into chaos. All the residents fled in panic. Women and children were screaming hysterically.”
He said he helped at least five injured people, mostly with burns, to a nearby air force hospital.
The plane broke into two parts as it ripped through the houses and plummeted to the ground, said air force spokesman Col. Agus Sasongko Jati. The three people killed on the ground were two children in one of the houses, aged 2 and 6, and a woman who worked as their caretaker, he added.
The aircraft, which was built in 1958 and has been used by Indonesia’s air force for the past 35 years with 14,900 flight hours, was declared airworthy before it took off for its second training flight of the day under clear skies, he said.
“It seemed that the pilot was trying to land on a nearby paddy field,” Jati told The Associated Press. “But it was not clear whether it was because of an emergency.”
Although the black box has been found, rescuers continue the search for more possible victims among the charred rubble of the burning houses today.