Indonesia Lion Air flight with 188 on board crashes into sea
A Lion Air flight with 188 people on board crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital on Monday.
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.
Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the aircraft, on an 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 seven crew members.
Indonesian television broadcast video showing a fuel slick and debris field.
The National Search and Rescue Agency said the flight ended in waters off West Java that are 98 to 115 feet deep.
The agency’s chief Muhammad Syaugi said at a news conference that divers are trying to find the wreckage.
The Boeing 737-800 plane departed Jakarta about 6:20 a.m. for Pangkal Pinang. Data for Flight 610 on aircraft tracking website FlightAware ends just a few minutes after takeoff.
Indonesian television showed dozens of people waiting anxiously outside the Pangkal Pinang airport and officials bringing out plastic chairs.
The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia flight 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.
9:15 p.m.: This article was updated with the plane crashing and more information about the search.
8:50 p.m.: This article was updated with background on the flight.
This article was originally published at 8:10 p.m.
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