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Wed, Dec 01, 2004

Toll Rises In Indonesian Runway Mishap

MD-82 Broke Up On Landing

An MD-82 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air skidded off the runway in a heavy rainstorm Tuesday, breaking apart and leaving at least 31 people dead.

It happened as the Flight JT583 was landing, according to the CBC. More than 150 people were thought to have been on board, according to Indonesian TV.

"The plane hit the tarmac and we all started yelling 'Allahu Akbar!'" one passenger told Indonesian broadcaster Metro TV. "I grabbed a woman near me and just tried to reach the emergency exit. Everyone around me was screaming."

The terminal at Solo, a tourist destination some 193 miles south of Jakarta, was said to be in chaos, with the bodies of the dead and injured littering the terminal floor and frantic relatives searching for their friends and family members who might have been on board.

Some passengers were reportedly trapped in the wreckage three hours after the accident.

There was no immediate indication on the cause of the accident.

FMI: www.lionair.co.id

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