Devastating news from Indonesia today, as Lion Air flight JT-610, which was bound for Pangkal Pinang, crash landed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta’s airport. The Boeing 737 Max plane was carrying 189 passengers, when it crash landed and now a search for survivors is ongoing.
Photos and videos shared by Indonesia’s disaster relief agency from the scene showed debris and oil floating in the water after the aircraft came down. The fate of the passengers aboard the flight is still unknown. The flight lost contact with air traffic control at 6:33am local time, only 13 minutes after taking off from the airport.
Head of the search and rescue team, Muhmmad Syaugi, told a news conference, “We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors. We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm.”
The air tracking service FlightRadar24 showed the plane looping south on take-off then heading north, before its flight ended abruptly over the Java Sea, not far from the coastline.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 can carry up to 210 passengers, and the flight tracking data shows that the Lion Air plane climbed 5,000 feet, before losing and regaining altitude, then falling into the sea. The last recorded height of the plane was at 3,650 feet.
The last coordinates picked up of the location of the flight was 15 km north of the Indonesian coastline, according to the Google Maps reference from FlightRadar24’s data.
This is the first accident reported involving a Boeing 737 MAX plane, which is a more fuel-efficient version of the single aisle jet that was first introduced into service in 2017.
Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the search and rescue agency, when asked about the Lion flight, he texted in response, “It has been confirmed that it has crashed.”
Edward Sirait, Chief Executive Officer of Lion Air Group, said: “We cannot give any comment at this moment. We are trying to collect all the information and data.”
Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, flying both domestically and internationally in the region. Back in 2013, one of its flights missed the runway in Bali, crashing into the sea, luckily without any casualties.
Recently, the European Union removed all Indonesian airlines from its aviation safety blacklist, with all three major airlines being upgraded to the top safety tier in June 2018, after passing an international audit. However, despite this tragedy, air travel in Indonesia is safe, as is suggested by the European Union.
The information of the Boeing 737 MAX blackbox will now provide answers of what happened whilst the rescue mission continues. However, just how did Lion flight JT-610 crash land into the sea north of Jakarta, only 13 minutes after take-off? A distress emergency call was made by the pilot, asking to turn the plane back around, but then all communication was lost.
It has been revealed that the Lion Air plane had recently gone in for repairs before the flight, with the pilot citing “technical difficulties” before crash landing into the sea.
Please pray for the families and the passengers caught up in this horrible aviation tragedy in hope of finding any survivors, as more news updates come in throughout the day during the rescue mission. Although, as feared, it is unlikely that anyone survived the actual plane crash.
Story by The Narrator
Featured Photo Credit: AFP/GettyImages