A Transportation Ministry spokesman says a small plane carrying 18 people has crashed in western Indonesia.

Bambang Ervan says the CASA C-212 aircraft went down Thursday in the North Sumatran village of Bahorok. It was carrying three crew members and 15 passengers.

Mr. Ervan says rescuers received reports about the crash from local residents and were still trying reach the scene.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of 240 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry mishaps. Many are blamed on overcrowding and poor safety standards.

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