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Four die in Indonesia air crash

Four people have been killed after a light aircraft crashed in bad weather in eastern Indonesia.

The Piper PA-34 Seneca, owned by PT Intan Angkasa Air Service, crashed into a paddy field and burst into flames near a housing complex in Tual on the Molucca Islands after taking off from Sentani town in Papua province.

Indonesia's transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said a pilot, a technician and two ground staffers of the company were on their way to Surabaya city on the country's main island of Java for a routine inspection of the US-made twin engine plane. All four died.

He said the pilot made a contact with the control tower minutes before the crash, but did not indicate any problems despite heavy downpours.

The bodies of the four men were recovered from the charred wreckage and investigations into the crash are ongoing.

Indonesia, a nation of 240 million, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years. Overcrowding, ageing infrastructure and poor safety standards are often blamed.

AP

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