Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Merpati 737 Crashes in Indonesia.


A plane carrying 103 people has crashed near an airport in Indonesia's West Papua Province.Skip related content
At least 20 people have been injured.
The incident happened around 11am local time, when the Merpati Boeing 737 lost control approximately 300 meters from the runway at Rendani Airport in Manokwari.
The director general of civil aviation Herry Bhakti Singayuda told AFP the plane "hurtled into trees and skidded into a shallow river."
Heavy rain and fog were suspected of playing a part in the crash, although experts were on their way to look into the cause.
"All the passengers were in a total panic, some even screamed and cried," said passenger Zainal Hayat.
He managed to escape by crawling out of a crack in the fuselage and was being treated at hospital with facial injuries.
"We flew safely and the plane touched down smoothly on the runway but it just didn't stop. It skidded very fast and I felt it hit something twice before it stopped and tumbled down."
"I got out through a crack in the plane near my seat."
Witnesses said the left wing broke off as the plane smashed into the trees at the end of the runway. The cockpit was also almost completely separated from the rest of the fusilage.
The plane was flying a routine domestic route from Sorong, also in West Papua province, to Manokwari, a distance of about 210 miles.
The EU banned all Indonesia-registered aircraft from flying over its airspace in June 2007.
It was acting on a report from the International Civil Aviation Organisation which criticised the country's safety standards.
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