Indonesia, which was coming to terms with the recent havoc created by an earthquake in the region, has yet again been hit with a tragedy.
Indonesia’s “Lion Air” airplane carrying 189 passengers and crew crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning, moments after taking off from Jakarta Airport.
Flight JT 610 from Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang, disappeared off the radar 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital at around 6:20 a.m. The airplane crashed and sunk deep into the sea.
The aircraft carried 178 adult passengers, 1 child and 2 babies. The flight’s crew consisted of Captain Bhavye Suneja and Captain Harino as second in command along with 5 crew members.
According to the Acting Director Of Civil Aviation, Mr. Pramintohadi Sukarno, search operations are underway and rescue squads have been deployed around Tanjung Karawang, the site where the airplane was seen crashing.
A crisis center has also been established at Terminal 1B of the Jakarta Airport & Pangkal Pinang Airport to help families of the passengers.
Local media reports have said that the preliminary flight data shows a drop in the airplane’s altitude and increase in speed before the transmission got cut. The airplane appears to have plunged into the sea just off the course of Indonesia.
Lion Air hasn’t released an official statement.
The deadly crash of a Lion Air has renewed questions about the safety of Indonesian airline soon after U.S. and European regulators removed prohibitions against them.
Indonesia’s aviation industry has had a shaky past. The United States and the European Union banned its airplanes from their skies in 2007.
Indonesia relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered several fatal crashes in recent years.