According to Indonesia's Air force chief, Air Marshall Agus Supriatna, the pilot told the control tower that the plane needed to turn back because of engine trouble. "The plane crashed while it was turning right to return to the airport," Supriatna said.
"The bodies were in the debris of the plane and buildings...we are taking the bodies one by one by ambulance to Adam Malik hospital. We haven't managed to evacuate all of the bodies," Dwihananto said.
In September 2005, a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into a crowded residential community shortly after takeoff from Medan's Polonia airport, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground. Medan, with about 3.4 million people, is the third most populous city in Indonesia after the capital, Jakarta, and Surabaya.