Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mourning in Sumatra neighborhood

Indonesia begins investigation in Mandala Airlines jetliner
MEDAN, Indonesia: Weeping residents of Indonesia's third-biggest city picked through the charred rubble of their homes on Tuesday, a day after a domestic airliner slammed into a crowded local neighborhood, killing at least 147 people.
There was still no word on the cause of the crash, in the city of Medan on Sumatra island.
Police watching over the wreckage of Mandala Airlines flight RI 091 said its black box and flight recorder were found late on Monday night and sent for analysis by investigators looking into the cause of the disaster.
"We will send it overseas for further investigation. At this stage it is too early to conclude the cause," Setyorahardjo, a transport safety official, told Reuters.
The crash, just seconds after the plane took off from Medan's Polonia airport, killed 102 people aboard and 47 others in an inferno on the ground.
At dawn on Tuesday, dozens of soldiers combed the crash site for human remains and a strong stench of burning hung in the air.
Miraculously, 15 passengers in the tail section of the Boeing 737-200, including a toddler under the age of two, survived the crash and were being treated at a nearby hospital.


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