Cameraman Passenger Filmed Crash

SYDNEY ~ An Indonesian cameraman has described how he escaped the burning Garuda Indonesia plane at Yogyakarta airport – and immediately began shooting dramatic footage later seen around the world.

Wayan Sukarda was on assignment for Australia’s Channel 7 Wednesday when the doomed Garuda flight from Jakarta overshot the runway and burst into flames, killing at least 21 people and injuring scores.

“He phoned up as it was crashing,” Channel 7 colleague Danney Sim was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph. “He was screaming ‘The plane’s crashing.’

“I thought he must have seen another plane crash. I didn’t know it was the one he was on. You could hear all the alarms and sirens going off, people screaming.”

Sukarda somehow managed to hang onto his TV camera as he rolled from the plane and began filming as he stumbled backwards from the wreckage, capturing vivid images of survivors staggering from the burning aircraft.

“There was turbulence, then the plane crashed,” Sukarda was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

“The plane was on fire. I saw one woman from Australia with her legs all burned. After the crash I grabbed the camera and just started shooting.

“I feel sick, my body is in pain,” said the 36-year-old father of three, who is reportedly recovering in hospital.

Sukarda was covering a visit to Indonesia by Australia’s foreign minister, Alexander Downer.

Ten Australian officials and journalists were also on the plane when it crashed, killing five of them.

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