A Sriwijaya Air passenger jet carrying 62 people is feared to have crashed into the sea after the Boeing 737 lost contact with air traffic control in the capital Jakarta, with flight tracking data showing the jet plunged into a steep dive just four minutes after take-off.
The usual flight time is about 90 minutes over the Java Sea between Java island and Kalimantan, Indonesia’s section of Borneo island. Data from FlightRadar24 said the plane reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres) before dropping to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control. Suspected debris of Indonesian plane found: Rescue official
Rescuers looking for an Indonesian plane that lost contact after taking off from the capital Jakarta on Saturday have found suspected debris in waters north of the city, an official of the Basarnas search and rescue agency said.
Agus Haryono told Reuters it had not been confirmed that the debris came from Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182, which lost contact after taking off.
“Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta,” FlightRadar24said on its official Twitter account.
Broadcaster Kompas TV quoted local fishermen as saying they had found debris near islands off the coast of Jakarta, but it could not be immediately confirmed as having belonged to the missing jet. Indonesia’s transport ministry said it was probing the incident.
“A Sriwijaya (Air) plane from Jakarta to Pontianak (on Borneo island) with call sign SJY182 has lost contact,” said ministry spokesman Adita Irawati.
“It last made contact at 2:40 pm (0740 GMT).”
The budget airline, which has about 19 Boeing jets that fly to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, said only it was investigating the loss of contact.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency and the National Transportation Safety Commission were also investigating, Irawati said.
In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight.
That crash — and a subsequent fatal flight in Ethiopia — saw Boeing hit with $2.5 billion in fines over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model, which was grounded worldwide following the two deadly crashes.