Jakarta, MINA — A passenger plane carrying 188 people crashed into the ocean early Monday morning, just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, New York Post reported, citing Indonesian officials.
Lion Air Flight JT-610 had been flying north from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang when it went missing at around 6:33 a.m. local time.
The Boeing 737-800 was scheduled to land in the city of Pangkal Pinan, on the Indonesian island of Bangka, at around 7:30 a.m., officials said.
It reportedly lost contact with air traffic control just 13 minutes after takeoff.
“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” said spokesman Yusuf Latif, of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.
Officials believe the plane sunk to the bottom of the sea not long after hitting the water.
“We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors,” said Muhammad Syaugi, head of the search and rescue agency. “We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm.”
Lion Air is considered one of Indonesia’s fastest growing and most affordable airlines.
“We are trying to collect all the information and data,” explained chief executive Edward Sirait.
The company has narrowly escaped disaster in the past — specifically in 2013, when Flight 904 crashed into the ocean while attempting to land at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. All 108 people on board managed to survive.
A crash in 2004, however, left 25 people dead. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)