Relatives in shock over Hercules plane crash in Medan

Relatives of the victims of a crashed military airplane mourn outside a hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 1, 2015.
Relatives of the victims of a crashed military airplane mourn outside a hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 1, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Ms Dewi Wulandari could not hold back her tears after learning that a Hercules airplane carrying her husband First Lt Pandu Setiawan, whom she married two months ago, crashed in Medan on Tuesday afternoon.

"I was at the market just now when I received a call to come home immediately," said Ms Dewi at her house at the Ambarketawang village in Gamping district of Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, on Tuesday.

When she arrived at home, she was told by relatives that the Hercules plane with flight number A1310, on which her husband was the copilot, had crashed.

"I was shocked when I received the news at home," she said softly.

Ms Dewi said Lt Pandu was an understanding person who loved his family very much.

"He was considerate, very affectionate and jovial," she was quoted by tribunnews.com as saying.

Ms Dewi's father Mr Haryoto said his daughter had last contacted her husband on Tuesday morning.

 

According to Mr Haryoto, Lt Pandu and Ms Dewi often communicated with each other over a long distance because Lt Pandu worked at the Malang air base in East Java. Ms Dewi traveled to Malang to meet Lt Pandu once a fortnight.

"Pandu was newly married to my daughter on April 26. After their reception here, he left for work again," said Mr Haryoto, as relatives and neighbours started arriving at the family's home.

The Hercules military plane crashed in a residential area in Medan in North Sumatra, hitting two shop-houses and a car, as it was carrying supplies to a number of Indonesian Military (TNI) Air Force bases.

The plane had been carrying 101 passengers and 12 crew, said Air Force chief of staff Air Marshall Agus Supriatna, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Separately, Medan resident Rani wept hysterically as she attempted to find her family members after the plane crashed.

Ms Rani had tried to enter the crash site but was barred by the military and the police's Sabhara rapid response unit personnel.

"There are two people there, my mother and aunt," said Ms Rani, as she was consoled by her relatives.

As well as Ms Rani, other residents were also in tears as they realised a number of shop-houses at the location were destroyed.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims flocked to the Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan hospital's morgue on Tuesday evening.

Among the mourners was Ms Muti Tinambunan, who heard that her nephews Ruli Sihotang, 24, and Reni Sihotang, 17, were among the passengers on the plane.

Ms Muti said Ruli and Reni were on the plane to visit their brother Andi Sihotang, an Air Force officer in Pontianak.