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File photo of an Indonesian rescue team. AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana/PA
Plane Crash

Search for Sumatra plane crash site as 18 feared dead

The small plane sent a distress signal halfway into its 30-minute flight and is believed to have crashed.

INDONESIAN SEARCH and rescue teams are working to locate the wreckage of a small plane carrying 18 people which crashed in a mountainous area of Sumatra this morning.

The CASA C-212 lost contact with air traffic controllers about halfway into its 30-minute flight. Shortly afterwards it sent out a distress signal and disappeared from radar.

Bahorok village residents told Indonesian television that they saw smoke coming from the plane before it disappeared from view in the mountain region.

Fifteen passengers, including four children, and three crew were on board. Dawn and AFP report that the plane was travelling north from Medan to Aceh.

- Additional reporting from the AP