Jetliner crashes in Indonesia

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Monday, September 5, 2005

A Boeing 737 jetliner operated by low-cost airline Mandala crashed approximately one minute after taking off from Polonia International Airport in the Indonesian city of Medan on the island of Sumatra.

The airport is surrounded by a very densely-populated residential area. Local TV showed images of dozens of homes and cars destroyed by the impact.

Reports are still varying on the number of fatalities within the plane. 14-16 people sitting in the rear of the plane survived. 47 people on the ground and 101-103 of the 117 people aboard were killed.

The Boeing 737 plane was nearly 25 years old, but was not due to be retired for another 11 years. It received a full service in June this year.

It has been reported that the flight, bound for Jakarta, was carrying several local politicians, including Rizal Nurdin, the governor of North Sumatra, and one of his predecessors.