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Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 13:36 UK

Army plane crashes in West Java

Indonesian Air Force Fokker 27
The plane, similar to this one, had been trying to land when it crashed

A total of 24 people have died after their plane crashed and caught fire at an airport near Bandung, West Java.

Eyewitnesses described a loud noise and a ball of fire as the plane crashed into an aircraft hangar, killing everyone on board.

A military spokesman told reporters that bad weather had caused the crash, with stormy monsoon rain and dark skies over the exercise area.

Indonesia has one of the worst aviation safety records in the world.

The European Union has banned Indonesian airlines from its airspace since 2007 because of safety concerns.

'Thundering sound'

The victims, all military personnel, were onboard a Fokker 27 plane which was trying to land at the time of the accident.

"The personnel were undergoing regular military training when it happened," army spokesman Bambang Sulistio was quoted by AFP as saying.

Six crew, an instructor and 17 special forces trainees were on board, he said.

"There was a thundering sound," said Budi Wuraskito, director of operations at the airport.

"The plane blew apart inside the hangar, which had several airplanes and helicopters inside."



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