Relatives of passengers comfort each other as they wait for news on a Lion Air plane that crashed off Java Island at Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. Indonesia disaster agency says that the Lion Air Boeing 737-800 plane crashed into sea shortly after it left Indonesia’s capital Monday morning. (AP Photo)

Lion Air plane crashes into sea, 189 on board

Disaster agency says passenger jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta

A Lion Air flight with 189 people on board crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital on Monday in a blow to the country’s aviation safety record after the lifting of bans on its airlines by the European Union and U.S.

Indonesia’s disaster agency posted photos online of 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.

Lion Air said the aircraft, on a 1-hour-and-10-minute flight to Pangkal Pinang on an island chain off Sumatra, was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and eight crew members.

Indonesian TV broadcast pictures of a fuel slick and debris field.

The National Search and Rescue Agency said the flight ended in waters off West Java that are 30 to 35 metres (98 to 115 feet) deep.

The agency’s chief Muhammad Syaugi told a news conference that divers are trying to locate the wreckage of the plane, which according to aviation website Flightradar24 was brand-new and delivered to Lion Air in August.

Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane, which took off from Jakarta about 6.20 a.m., crashed just 13 minutes later. Data from aircraft tracking website FlightAware showed it had reached an altitude of only 5,200 feet (1,580 metres).

Indonesian TV showed dozens of people waiting anxiously outside the Pangkal Pinang airport and officials bringing out plastic chairs. The transport ministry said crisis centres have been set up Pangkal Pinang’s airport and Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport.

The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea in December 2014, killing all 162 on board.

A report to the Jakarta Search and Rescue Office cited the crew of a tug boat which had reported seeing a Lion Air flight falling from the sky.

A telegram from the National Search and Rescue Agency to the air force has requested assistance with the search.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations.

In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board.

Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 were flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. The ban was completely lifted in June this year. The U.S. lifted a decadelong ban in 2016.

 

FILE - In this May 12, 2012 file photo, a Lion Air passenger jet takes off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia. Indonesia’s Lion Air said Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra. (AP Photo/Trisnadi, File)

Just Posted

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Oak Bay dog walk benefits guide dogs

Two more walks set for Sunday in Victoria and Colwood

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read