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Hercules military plane crashes into residential area killing 20 people

Indonesian television broadcast images from the city of a downed aircraft in flames.
Indonesian television broadcast images from the city of a downed aircraft in flames.

At least 20 people were killed when an Indonesian air force Hercules C-130 plane crashed into a residential area in the city of Medan.

Adam Malik hospital spokeswoman Sairi M Saragih said the facility had received 20 bodies from the crash scene so far.

She said two people who were on the ground are critically injured.

Air force officials say the plane crashed two minutes after take-off.

Indonesian television has broadcast images of the downed Hercules, crumpled vehicles and a partially destroyed building as smoke billowed from the scene.

Air force chief Air Marshall Agus Supriatna said the pilot told the control tower at Soewondo air force base that the plane needed to turn back because of engine trouble.

"The plane crashed while it was turning right to return to the airport," he said.

There were 17 military personnel on the plane, he added.

It is the second time in 10 years that a plane has crashed into the same area of Medan.

In September 2005, a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 crashed shortly after take-off from Medan's Polonia airport, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground.