Indonesian plane feared to have crashed with 62 aboard. What we know so far
An Indonesian budget airline jet suspected to have crashed into the sea just minutes after take-off from Jakarta had 62 passengers and crew on board, including 10 children, the transport minister said on Saturday.
The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 lost contact with air traffic control about four minutes after take-off just after 2.30pm (0730 GMT) on its way to Borneo island. Flightradar24, a tracking service, said on its Twitter feed that Flight SJ182 "lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta". "Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta," the tracking agency tweeted.
"The total number of passengers was 50 along with 12 crew," Indonesian transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters, adding that the figure included seven children and three infants. Another official had said earlier there were 56 passengers and six crew.
Indonesian television channels showed pictures of suspected wreckage.
Here is what we know so far:
1. It was raining at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport when the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 took off for Pontianak, around 740km away.
2. The plane was bound for Pontianak on Indonesia's section of Borneo island, about 90 minutes flying time over the Java Sea. The suspected crash site is near tourist islands just off the coast of Indonesia's sprawling capital.
3. Bagus Puruhito, head of the country's search and rescue agency Basarnas, said teams had been dispatched to search the waters north of Jakarta. No radio beacon signal had been detected, the agency said. Rescue official Agus said, according to Reuters, 50 people were taking part in the search and that they would search into the night.
4. Agus Haryono, another official with the agency, told Reuters that debris suspected to be from the plane had been found in the sea, but it had not been confirmed that it came from the missing flight.
5. "We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water," Zulkifli, a security official, told CNNIndonesia.com.
6. A fisherman in the area known as Thousand Islands told local media that he and his crew had found several pieces of metal.
7. According to fleet data on Planespotters.net, the jet had been operated by Sriwijaya Air since 2012 and was previously used by Continental Air Lines and United Airlines Holdings Inc.
8. The jet is a 737-500 model that’s much older than the Max 737 aircraft that was grounded globally for about two years in 2019 after two fatal crashes.
9. A Lion Air disaster killed 189 people in 2018 and prompted global outrage against Boeing’s newer 737 Max jet. An AirAsia Group Bhd plane plunged into the Java Sea in December 2014 with 162 people on board.
10. Jakarta-based Sriwijaya Air group, which was founded in 2003, flies largely within Indonesia. The airline has a solid safety record until now, with no onboard casualties in four incidents recorded on the Aviation Safety Network database. However, a farmer was killed when a Boeing 737-200 left the runway in 2008 following a hydraulic problem.
(With agency inputs)
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