Military Cargo Plane Crashes, 113 Feared Dead
Military personnel remove an aircraft wheel at the site where an air force transport plane crashed
NEW DELHI: All 113 people on board a Hercules C-130 military cargo plane are feared dead, as the transport plane crashed in a residential area of the Indonesian city of Medan. The plane hit two houses and a hotel before bursting into flame.
At the time of writing, the cause of the crash remained unknown, with the priority being rescuing people nearby who were trapped in wrecked buildings.
The crash, however, continues a terrible trend in aviation, with 2014 and now 2015 going down as some of the worst years yet in terms of casualties per accident.
February 2014: a Nepal Airlines Twin Otter aircraft crashed into a mountainside near Sandhikhark, Nepal, on February 16, killing all 18 on-board.
March 2014: MH370 disappeared in March, and extensive search efforts since have yielded no sign of the plane. The flight’s disappearance is considered one of the biggest aviation mysteries, with evidence suggesting that the plane’s communication systems were “deliberately disabled,” leading to various theories including terrorist involvement or a potential hijack. With all passengers being cleared of suspicion, including two who were traveling on stolen passports, suspicion fell on the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, and co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, of MH370.
More significantly, the jetliner's data communications systems - the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARA) - were switched off, and investigators have pointed to the fact that someone with knowledge of the systems could have played a role, leading to doubt falling on the pilots themselves. Further, the last words spoken from the cockpit seem to indicate that nothing was wrong, with Hamid reportedly saying, “All right, good night" (later revealed to be goodnight Malaysian three seven zero) when Malaysian air traffic controllers informed them that control was being handed over to Vietnam. The plane never made contact with Vietnam, and investigators believe that the reassuring words were spoken at around the same time that the ACARA systems were turned off. So far, no evidence of the pilots’ involvement has been found -- and neither have any traces of the plane.
July 2014: MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The shooting-down escalated tensions between between Russia, which supports the pro-independence rebels in Ukraine’s east, and United States-led Western power that back the government in Kiev.
The tensions are linked to ambiguity regarding the circumstances that led to the plane’s crash, with Kiev releasing an audio of what it says are intercepted telephone conversations between rebels and Russian military intelligence officers during which the former admit to shooting down a plane. Leaders of the rebel Donetsk People's Republic denied involvement, saying instead that a Ukrainian air force jet had brought down the plane.
July 2014: TransAsia Airways ATR 72-500 crashed near Magong Airport in Taiwan on July 23, with 48 passengers and crew dying after the plane missed its first runway approach. Miraculously 10 people survived the crash.
July 2014: an Air Algerie MD-83 passenger aircraft dropped off the radar and crashed while flying over Mali, en route to Algiers from the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou. All 116 occupants were killed.
August 2014: an Iranian-built Sepahan Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran International Airport. 39 people died.
December 2014: QZ8501 disappeared en route to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia, with 162 people on board. Debris from the plane was located off the coast of Borneo soon after, with all passengers declared dead.
March 2015: A Germanwings plane with 150 people on board crashed over the French Alps on its from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on March 25. Evidence suggests that co-pilot Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane, killing himself and the 149 people on board.