Lion Air plane crashes into sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta

Lion Air plane crashes into sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta
Lion Air.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

JAKARTA - The Indonesian authorities have mounted a search and rescue operation for a Lion Air plane which crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Monday (Oct 29) morning.

Lion Air flight JT-610 took off from Jakarta Airport at 6.20am local time and lost contact with air traffic controllers at 6.33am. The Boeing 737 was originally scheduled to arrive at Pangkal Pinang at 7.10am.

The plane plunged into Karawang Bay, West Java province, Mr Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told a press briefing. The waters at the crash site are around 30m to 35m deep.

"On the sea surface, we found debris… The location is two nautical miles from where the plane lost contact," he told reporters.

The crash site is near a facility of state-owned oil company Pertamina in West Java province. A video taken from a Pertamina vessel near the crash site showed oil patches on the water surface.

Lion Air plane carrying 189 people crashes into sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta

  • Open gallery

    Chief of Indonesia's Lion Air flight JT610 search and rescue operations Muhammad Syaugi looks through recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed flight at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta

  • Open gallery

    A pair of infant shoes is pictured among recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta.

  • Open gallery

    There were 189 people on board flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air when ground staff lost contact with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft early on Monday, 13 minutes after it had left the airport in Jakarta, the capital.

  • Open gallery

    Rescue team members arrange the wreckage, showing part of the logo of Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea

  • Open gallery

    A crying mother shows a graduation picture of her son, Agil Nugroho Septian, who was a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Tegal, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.

  • Open gallery

    Lutfiani shows an undated picture of her husband, Deryl Fida Febrianto, a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Surabaya, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.

  • Open gallery

    A witness in the Karawang district said he had heard an explosion from the beach around the time the aircraft went down.

  • Open gallery

    Sangeeta Suneja, mother of Bhavye Suneja, a pilot of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, reacts as she leaves for Jakarta, in New Delhi

  • Open gallery

    Gulshan Suneja, father of pilot Bhavye Suneja.

  • Open gallery

    Sony Setiawan (C) speaks to journalists at Pangkal Pinang airport in Bangka Belitung province on October 29, 2018, following his arrival on another airline after missing his pre-planned flight on Lion Air flight JT 610 which crashed off the coast north of Jakarta. - Setiawan was due to board the ill-fated Boeing-737 MAX but was held up on his commute to Soekarno-Hatta airport by Jakarta’s notorious traffic congestion.

  • Open gallery

    A forensics team carries bodies of the victims of Lion Air flight JT610 to Sukanto National Police Hospital, East Jakarta, on Monday. In a statement, Lion Air said human remains had been collected in 24 body bags after sweeps of the crash site, which is about 15 km (nine miles) off the coast to the northeast of Jakarta.

  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery

    Rescue team members carry a body bag with the remains of a passenger.

  • Open gallery

    Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati hugs a relative of a victim of the Lion Air flight JT610 crash.

  • Open gallery

    The Indonesian authorities have mounted a search and rescue operation for a Lion Air plane which crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Monday (Oct 29) morning.

  • Open gallery

    There are 189 passengers and crew on board the plane, including two infants, one child, two pilots and six cabin crew.

  • Open gallery

    The plane plunged into Karawang Bay, West Java province, Mr Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told a press briefing.

  • Open gallery

    The waters at the crash site are around 30m to 35m deep.

  • Open gallery

    "On the sea surface, we found debris… The location is two nautical miles from where the plane lost contact," he told reporters.

  • Open gallery

    The crash site is near a facility of state-owned oil company Pertamina in West Java province. A video taken from a Pertamina vessel near the crash site showed oil patches on the water surface.

  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery

    Officials said the plane had requested a return to base before finally disappearing from the radar.

  • Open gallery

    Local TV footage also showed wallets and mobile phones that had been retrieved from the waters.

  • Open gallery

    The head of Indonesia's national transportation safety committee (KNKT) Dr Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters that the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane that crashed entered service in August this year and had clocked only about 800 flight hours.

  • Open gallery

    When asked on the cause of the crash, Dr Soerjanto said: "We can't presume anything before finding the blackbox and also the recording from the (air traffic control) tower."

  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery
  • Open gallery

    An Indonedian boatman takes pictures as debris from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 floats at sea in the waters north of Karawang, West Java province.

  • Open gallery

Local TV footage also showed wallets and mobile phones that had been retrieved from the waters.

Officials said the plane had requested a return to base before finally disappearing from the radar.

The head of Indonesia's national transportation safety committee (KNKT) Dr Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters that the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane that crashed entered service in August this year and had clocked only about 800 flight hours.

There are 189 passengers and crew on board the plane, including two infants, one child, two pilots and six cabin crew.

When asked on the cause of the crash, Dr Soerjanto said: "We can't presume anything before finding the blackbox and also the recording from the (air traffic control) tower."

A tugboat notified the Tanjung Priok sea port's Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) that it spotted a plane plunging into the water on Monday morning, according to Jakarta-based Elshinta radio.

on Twitter

on Twitter

on Twitter

In December 2014, Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people plunged into the Java Sea after taking off from Surabaya to Singapore.

Lion Air, a low-cost airline, has been involved in a number of incidents.

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.

In May 2016, two Lion Air planes collided at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport, while a month earlier a plane operated by Batik Air -- part of the Lion Group -- clipped a TransNusa plane.

In 2013 a Lion Air jet with a rookie pilot at the controls undershot the runway and crashed into the sea in Bali, splitting the plane in two. Several people were injured in the crash, although no one was killed.

Indonesia's air travel industry is booming, with the number of domestic passengers growing significantly over the past decade, but it has acquired a reputation for poor regulation.

Last year the Indonesian air traffic controllers association revealed that the rate of take-off and landings in Jakarta allowed by state-run air navigation company AirNav was more than the airport could handle, increasing the chance of accidents.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

Purchase this article for republication.
Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.