Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Indonesian plane carrying 188 passengers crashes into the sea

AP

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Lion Air passenger jet feared to have crashed on Monday was carrying 189 passengers and crew when it went missing shortly after take-off, a transport ministry official said.

The aircraft was carrying 178 adult passengers, one child and two babies, with two pilots and six flight attendants. The plane had requested to return to base before finally disappearing from the radar, said a statement.

The aircraft, bound for Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka off the coast of Sumatra, lost contact with air traffic control around 6.30 am (2330 GMT), about 13 minutes after it took off. The jet was a 2-month old Boeing 737 MAX 8, according to air tracking service Flightradar 24.

Lion Air, a low-cost airline, has been involved in a number of mishaps. Last year one of its Boeing jets collided with a Wings Air plane as it landed at Kualanamu airport on the island of Sumatra, although no one was injured.

HERE ARE UPDATES:

1:50 pm: Indonesian President Joko Widodo says he has ordered the National Commission for Transportation Safety to investigate the crash.

1:45 pm: Boeing says it is “deeply saddened” by the crash of a Lion Air off the Indonesian coast and offered to help with the investigation.

1:30 pm: Rescuers have released footage of plane debris and personal items floating in the water at the crash site. They have found handbags, clothing, cellphones, ID cards and drivers licenses.

1:00 pm: Lion Air have released the names of the flight’s captain, co-pilot and full crew. Lion Air have also turned their website and social media accounts to black-and-white.

12:50 pm: Delhi man Bhavye Suneja was the captain of the Indonesian Lion Air plane which crashed into the Java Sea Monday morning with 189 passengers on board, according to media reports.

12:30 pm: Indonesia’s Search And Rescue Agency has released an official statement which says the reason for the crash is still unclear.

“The Emergency Local Transmitter beacon on the plane did not emit a distress signal. Thus, the crash of the plane was not monitored by the Medium Earth Orbital Local User Terminal at the Basarnas [Search and Rescue] head office.

11:45 am: Families are turning up at Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency headquarters in Jakarta for word of their loved ones.

11:30 am: Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani met with the agency chief, seeking information about 20 finance ministry staff who were on the flight.

Aviation tracking website Flightradar24 says the Lion Air plane that crashed after takeoff from Jakarta was a brand-new aircraft that has only been in use for a couple of months.

11:00 am: Vessels searching in the water for the Flight 610 wreckage have found various items of debris.

10:30 am: Indonesia relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered several fatal crashes in recent years.

10:00 am: Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted photos on Twitter of debris including a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.

9:30 am:  181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and seven crew members were on board, say officials.

9:00 am: A report to the Jakarta Search and Rescue Office cites the crew of a tug boat reporting a Lion Air flight falling from the sky. It said several vessels have headed to the location.

8:00 am: Indonesia’s Lion Air says it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra. A search and rescue effort has been launched for the Boeing 737-800 plane which departed Jakarta about 6.20 a.m. on Monday.

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