A Sriwijaya Air plane has crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff. The Boeing 737-500 aircraft was carrying 50 passengers , including 40 adults and ten children, as well as 12 crew members.
The aircraft is reported to have lost contact above sea, north of Jakarta, shortly after takeoff at 14:40 Western Indonesia Time (WIB, UTC+7). The plane with flight code SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet in a minute as reported by flight tracker website FlightRadar24.
The plane, registered in Indonesia as PK-CLC, took off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 14:36 WIB and headed to Pontianak, the capital of the West Kalimantan province. According to Indonesian minister of transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, the plane crashed near Laki island, which is part of the Thousand islands chain, located under the plane’s flight path at the time of the incident.
“At 17:30, the president has instructed us to maximize our search efforts.” he said during a virtual press conference. “We have already deployed four ships, three rubber boats and three sea riders of the Basarnas (Indonesian National Search And Rescue Agency) as well as the Navy.”
The Boeing 737-500 is an older model of the 737-800 MAX that was involved in two deadly accidents in 2018 and 2019, one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia. These two crashes lead to the decision to ground the whole model for 20 months and a US$ 2.5 billion fine for Boeing since it was indicated that the company has misled regulators over the safety of the 737-800 MAX model.
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