Jakarta: The mystery over a missing Indonesian passenger plane which lost contact minutes after taking off on Saturday has ended, as authorities have reportedly confirmed that the Sriwijaya Air Flight SJY182 crashed into the sea. Also Read - Missing Indonesian Plane's Suspected Debris Found Off Jakarta Coast | Here's What Might Have Happened
There were 62 people onboard- 56 passengers and 6 crew members, and their fate was not known. All those on the Sriwijaya Air flight were Indonesian, said Indonesia’s transport safety committee. Authorities did not say whether they believed if there were any survivors. Also Read - Indonesia's Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 Loses Contact Minutes After Takeoff From Jakarta
Here is everything we know about the crash of Sriwijaya Air Flight SJY182:
- Flight said to have crashed near Laki Island
Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard Flight SJ 182, including 12 crew. The detik.com website quoted him as saying the plane crashed near Laki Island, some 20 km (12 miles) from the airport.
- 90-minute long domestic flight lost contact shortly after take off
The Sriwijaya Air flight from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain.
A statement released by the airline said the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesia’s Borneo island.
- Suspected debris found in waters
The Boeing 737-500 plane is said to have crashed into the sea as rescuers have found suspected debris in waters north of the city, an official of the Basarnas search and rescue agency said, according to Reuters.
Local media reports said fishermen spotted metal objects believed to be parts of a plane on Saturday afternoon in the Thousand Islands, a chain of islands north of Jakarta.
- Search and rescue operation underway
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said in a statement that a search and rescue operation is underway in coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee.
Rescue agency Basarnas said in a statement it would send a team to the Thousand Islands area to help in the search for victims “after the crash of Sriwijaya Air SJ 182”.
Indonesia’s Navy had pinpointed the site of the missing aircraft and ships had been sent there, a Navy official said.
Television footage showed relatives and friends of people aboard the plane weeping, praying and hugging each other as they waited at Jakarta’s airport and Pontianak’s airport.
- Flight lost over 10,000 feet in less than a minute
Reliable tracking service Flightradar24 said in a tweet that Flight SJ182 “lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about four minutes after departure from Jakarta”.
- 189 people were killed in Lion Air Crash in 2018
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.
In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. It was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people were killed on a Garuda flight near Medan on Sumatra island. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people.
Sriwijaya Air is one of Indonesia’s discount carriers, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations.
(With inputs from agencies)