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Indonesian military hit by another air disaster

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JAKARTA Thirteen people have died after an Indonesian military transport plane crashed in the east of the country yesterday, officials said, marking yet another air accident for the armed forces.

The Hercules C-130 plane took off from Timika city in Papua province carrying 12 crew and one passenger but went down in a remote mountainous region shortly before its scheduled landing, officials said.

"The operator on land saw the plane at 6.08am local time, but at 6.09am, the plane lost contact," air force chief Agus Supriatna told AFP.

The plane was expected to land at 6.13am Indonesian time.

Aboard the aircraft were three pilots, eight technicians, a navigator and a military officer, as well as food and cement, Mr Supriatna said.


Weather around the area is known to be unpredictable, and the plane went in and out of clouds before the crash, he added.

Rescuers located the plane debris soon after.

All 13 bodies have been recovered, according to the air force.

Mr Supriatna said a team was heading to the site to investigate.

The fatal incident is the latest for Indonesia's accident-prone military.

Last month, an army helicopter accident killed three in Borneo, while another three people died when a military chopper crashed into a home in central Java in July.

About 12 people were killed in March when another military helicopter went down in bad weather in Sulawesi in central Indonesia.

But the worst incident in recent times happened in June 2015, when an air force Hercules C-130 plane crashed into a residential neighbourhood in Medan, killing 142 people and causing widespread destruction. - AFP

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