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At least 68 people are dead following the crash of a military plane on the Indonesian island of Java.
Air force official Suyono says he expects the death toll to rise following Wednesday morning's crash. Suyono goes by only one name.
Air force spokesman Bambang Sulistyo said the C-130 Hercules was carrying at least 112 passengers and crew.
As he was grappling with these problems, however, General Zia-ul-Haq died in a plane crash on August 17, 1988. After witnessing a tank parade in Bahawalpur, Zia had left the small town in the Punjab province by C-130 Hercules aircraft. Shortly after a smooth take-off, the control tower lost contact with the aircraft. Witnesses who saw the plane in the air afterwards claim it was flying, as well as American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the U.S. Military aid mission to Pakistan. Zia had ruled Pakistan for 11 years with an iron hand. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the Senate Chairman announced Zia's death on radio and TV.
A Board of Enquiry was set up to investigate the crash. It concluded that the most probable cause of the crash was a criminal act of sabotage perpetrated in the aircraft. It also suggested that poisonous gases were released which incapacitated the passengers and crew, which would explain why no Mayday signal was given. Interestingly, shortly after 2 pm that day (two and a half hours before the crash), an anonymous caller phoned a daily newspaper and asked if it was true that General Zia had been involved in an air crash.
Among the passengers there were at least ten children, said spokesman for the Air Force, Bambang Sulistyo to AP news.