Indonesia Lion Air passenger plane crashed into sea 10 minutes after taking off from Jakarta
An Indonesian Lion Air plane crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from the capital Jakarta this morning, an aviation authority official said, adding that a search and rescue operation is underway.
"It has been confirmed that it has crashed," said Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia's search and rescue agency. It was not immediately clear how many people were on board.
The Lion Air flight was going to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra. The plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8 model, lost contact with the air-traffic controller at 6:33 am, 13 minutes after taking off, the airport authorities said.
"We cannot give any comment at this moment," said Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air Group. "We are trying to collect all the information and data."
The Flightradar website tracked the plane, showing it looping south on take-off and then heading north before the flight path ended abruptly over the Java Sea, not far from the coast.
"We are downloading and processing… data that was transmitted by the aircraft, but preliminary data show an increase in speed and decrease in altitude at last transmission," Flightradar 24 tweeted.
We're following reports that contact has been lost with Lion Air flight #JT610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
ADS-B data from the flight is available at https://t.co/zNM33cM0napic.twitter.com/NIU7iuCcFu
– Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 29, 2018
The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 Max, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer's workhorse single-aisle jet. The first Boeing 737 Max jets were introduced into service in 2017.
Lion Air's Malaysian subsidiary, Malindo Air, received the very first global delivery, news agency Reuters reported.
With inputs from agencies