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Plane crash engine fault suspected

Published 02/07/2015

Investigators inspect the wreckage of the crashed air force transport plane in Medan (AP)
Investigators inspect the wreckage of the crashed air force transport plane in Medan (AP)

The military transport plane that crashed into a city's residential area, killing 141 people, had a propeller "abnormality" that indicated an engine stalled, Indonesia's air force chief has said.

Air Marshal Agus Supriatna said the fact that the plane turned right after take-off and was flying at a lower than normal speed also suggested an engine failure.

Before crashing in Medan shortly after take-off on Tuesday, the C130 Hercules hit a 115ft radio antenna, he said.

"By hitting the antenna, I imagine it certainly affected the plane," Air Marshal Supriatna said.

The plane was carrying 122 people and the impact also killed people on the ground.

Air force spokesman Dwi Badarmanto said other B-type Hercules planes had been grounded pending the investigation's outcome.

The C-130 was carrying many more passengers than the military first reported. Initially, the air force said there were 12 crew members on the 51-year-old plane and did not mention passengers.

It then repeatedly raised the number of people on board, indicating confusion about how many people had boarded and alighted during a journey covering several cities.

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