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143 killed but 13 survive Indonesian plane crash

143 killed but 13 survive Indonesian plane crash
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Late into the evening the wreckage of a plane crash that brought devastation to a residential area of an Indonesian city continued to smoulder. 143 people were killed in the plane or on the ground but, incredibly, 13 passengers survived. They were sitting in the tail section and managed to make their way through the flames. The Mandala Airlines jet came down on a suburb of Medan on the island of Sumatra.

It had just taken off on a flight to Jakarta when it suddenly plunged from the sky. One survivor spoke of the plane shaking violently and lurching to the left before crashing. He said he escaped as a ball of fire swept through the fuselage. Investigators on the island of Sumatra still do not know what caused the crash but a spokesman for the airline said he believed foul play was unlikely. An operation continued after nightfall to search for more victims on the ground. At Jakarta airport relatives of passengers desperately sought news of their loved ones. In recent weeks plane crashes have killed hundreds of people around the world.