An Indonesian plane belonging to Lion Air crashed off the island of Sumatra, into the Java Sea, on Monday morning. The flight took off from Jakarta around 6:20 A.M.
The flight with 189 passengers in it, including 2 babies and 7 crew members, is said to have sunk in the Java Sea. It is said the flight, after 13 minutes of taking off from Jakarta in Indonesia, crashed and lost contact.
A rescue team of 300 people have been deployed to search for the scraps of the crashed plane and the black box, which includes the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR,) to identify the reason behind the crash. The rescue team found some debris and aircraft seats in the Java Sea.
Muhmmad Syaugi, the Head of Rescue and Search Agency said, “Wreckage had been found near where the plane lost contact with air traffic officials on the ground.” He further added, “We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors.” He said, “We hope, we pray but we cannot confirm.”
The cause of the accident is still unknown and can be identified after the rescue and search team find the scraps of the plane and the black boxes.
An official of Indonesia’s Safety Transport Committee said, “We will collect all data from the control tower.” In addition, he said, “The plane is so modern, it transmits data from the plane and that we will review too. But the most important is the black box.”
According to the recorded and tracked data, the Flightradar 24 was flying at the height of 5000 feet. The data says that before the crash, the height dropped to 3,650 feet and the speed was 345 knots. The distance of the airplane from where it was tracked was 15 km north of the Indonesian coastline.
Boeing Airplanes is closely monitoring the crash. The airplane was said to be a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet, a more fuel efficient version of the manufacturer’s workhorse single aisle jet.
The rescue teams and bodies such as the U.S. Transportation National Safety Board and the Indonesian disaster agency, Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB,) are keenly investigating the matter.
The passengers are still missing and their relatives are worried about them. The families of the passengers reached the Pangkal Pinang Airport and are waiting for information about the search.
Edward Sirait, the Chief Executive of the Lion Airline Group, will hold a meeting to address the incident later today.
The search team has not been able to recover any passenger’s body yet. The passengers’ belongings such as headphones and ID cards were found on the spot. An investigation is underway in order to find out the reason behind the crash.
The article was updated with the following information:
According to sources, the major reason suspected behind the disastrous accident is a technical glitch in the aircraft. The Indonesian Aviation and Transport Safety, 2 to 3 minutes after the airplane’s takeoff, cleared the pilot’s request to return back to Jakarta.
The aircraft had technical issues during its previous flight from Denpasar to Jakarta. The technical glitch is, however, said to be resolved. Edward Sirait said the matter was resolved previously, but did not specify what the issue was.
The 189 passengers boarded on the flight included 20 ministry staff, coming from a ministry event held in Jakarta. Sri Mulyani, the Finance Minister of Indonesia, reached the spot of the crash and sought information about the ministers in the flight.
The Indian Embassy confirmed the death of Bhavye Suneja, the Indian pilot of the airplane. Along with this, the Indonesian rescue officials said all the passengers are mostly dead, as no body has been recovered yet. An investigation for the recovery of the passengers’ bodies and the discovery of the cause of the crash is still in progress.
Stay tuned for more updates.