A Garuda Indonesia Airbus Industrie A300B4 carrying 222 passengers and 14 crew has crashed on its approach to Medan Airport, northern Sumatra, in bad visibility. There are no reports of any survivors.

Flight 152 is reported to have crashed about 45km (25nm) south of the airport at around 13:30 local time, after a 2h flight from Indonesia' capital, Jakarta. The visibility at the time of the accident is understood to have been down to 500m (1,600ft) because of smoke generated by local forest fires.

Medan Airport has been forced to shut down periodically over the last few weeks because of the haze from the fires that is now enveloping much of South-East Asia.

The city of Medan is situated in a basin, with the airport 30km north of the foothills of a mountain range. The main runway has an instrument-landing system and other approach aids, including radar.

Garuda aircraft have been involved in several incidents this year. In 1996 the carrier crashed a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 at Fukuoka, Japan, killing three passengers (Flight International, 30 July - 5 August).

The Pratt & Whitney JT9D-59A-powered A300B4 (PK-GAI) was delivered to the Indonesian carrier in November 1982. It was one of nine of the unusual two-man "forward-facing crew cockpit" A300B4s built for Garuda.


Source: Flight International