An Indonesian airliner crashed on approach to an island’s airport Saturday, killing at least 15 of the 52 people aboard, the airline said.
Witnesses said the 68-seat turboprop exploded and broke apart before hitting the ground in a palm plantation on Belitung island, about 280 miles northwest of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
The plane crashed a little more than one mile from the island’s airport, state-run Merpati Nusantara airlines said. Authorities at the airport suspected engine trouble was to blame, RCTI television said.
The airline said 48 passengers and four crew members - all Indonesians - were aboard the flight from Jakarta. A hospital was treating 31 survivors while searchers looked for six missing passengers.