News has come in overnight, that a Boeing 737-Max8 with 188 passengers onboard, belonging to Indonesian carrier Lionair, has crashed off the coast of Jakarta. The incident is believed to have happened shortly after Flight JT610 had departed Jakarta, bound for Pangkal, Pinang.
The plane, a brand new Boeing 737-MAX8 only in commercial service as a type since 2016 with the particular example only being delivered to the airline on August 15th 2018, lost communication with Air Traffic Control shortly after takeoff and ended up in the water. It is unclear what caused the crash.
Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier currently expanding with an order of 190 MAX series aircraft due for delivery from 2017-2020.
A Search & Rescue spokesman, Yusuf Latif, told reporters: “The plane crashed into water about 30m to 40m deep,” and “We’re still searching for the remains of the plane.”
Items believed to belong to passengers have been found in the water, including ID cards and driver’s licences, the search and rescue agency said on Twitter.
“We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors,”
the agency’s head, Muhmmad Syaugi, told reporters.
“We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm.”
Flight JT 610 took off from Jakarta at 06:20 local time on Monday morning (23:30 GMT on Sunday) due for Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal, Pinang one hour later. 13 minutes into the flight, authorities lost contact with the plane. Prior to loosing contact, the pilot had asked to return to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport, the head of Pangkal Pinang’s search and rescue office, Danang Priandoko, told local news outlets. It is thought that the crew on board had a joint flight time of 11,000hrs and there were 3 trained flight attendants and one trained technician amongst the team. It is also believed that 20 members of Indonesia’s Finance Ministry were onboard.