Monday, September 7, 2009

Indonesian Navy 's Nomad aircraft crashed


Four people were killed on Monday after an Indonesian Navy aircraft crashed into a swamp on the Indonesian half of Borneo island, a navy spokesman said. "Four civilian passengers were killed and five others were injured both seriously and lightly when the plane crashed in a swamp about 24 miles (39 kilometres) west of East Kalimantan province's Sekatak river mouth," Iskandar Sitompul told.

He said that the Nomad plane was carrying three military personnel and six civilians on a maritime patrol mission. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the light aircraft around 1:00 pm (0500 GMT) in East Kalimantan province, he said. Sitompul would not confirm reports by the state news agency Antara that the plane was split into two parts on impact.

Local police chief Purnama told that residents may have witnessed the crash. "Local residents reported to us that there was a plane that crashed into a cluster of prawn ponds at the edge of a river. The man heard the sound of roaring engine and the plane crashing into the ponds," Purnama said. Indonesia relies heavily on air transport but has one of Asia's worst air safety records. A string of military aircraft accidents have claimed scores of lives this year, including the May crash of a Hercules transport plane in East Java province that killed 101 people, including civilians. In April, 24 military personnel were also killed when their training aircraft slammed into a hangar at an air base in West Java.

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