Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Passenger plane crashes near Indonesia shortly after taking off from Jakarta

Passenger plane crashes near Indonesia shortly after taking off from Jakarta

A telegram from the National Search and Rescue Agency to the air force has requested assistance with the search of a location at sea off Java.

Indonesian officials say it was carrying 178 adults, one child and two babies, as well as two pilots and five cabin crew.

Indonesian relatives of the plane crash victims cry as they wait for the news at the airport in Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia.

All 189 people on board were "likely" killed, said Indonesia's search and rescue agency. The rescue operations are still underway and officials have no information on casualties as of now.

The flight then disappeared from the radar shortly after.

According to recent reports, debris found so far include life vests and a cellphone. "We all hope and pray that Suneja and all the others on the plane survive", the official said.

"We need to find the main wreckage", he added.

Flight JT610 appears to mark the first deadly incident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a single-aisle commercial jet that came into service in 2017. Reports suggest that the Lion Air had taken the delivery of the following aircraft in August this year.

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A year ago one of its Boeing jets collided with a Wings Air plane as it landed at Kualanamu airport on the island of Sumatra, although no one was injured. The plane's fuselage and black box nor any of the passengers have been found at this moment.

Under worldwide rules, the US National Transportation Safety Board will assist with the investigation, backed up by technical advisers from Boeing and US-French engine maker CFM global, co-owned by General Electric and Safran. Boeing has been informed of the crash and is "closely monitoring" the situation, a company spokesman told Reuters.

Australian government officials have been warned not to fly with Lion Air after the crash.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's largest airlines.

Of the 188 on board, two were pilots and six were flight attendants, the National Transportation Safety Commission said in a statement cited by the Jakarta Post.

The SAR has deployed boats, a helicopter and a team of 250 rescuers including divers to the crash site identified in the Java Sea, 34 nautical miles off the coast.

In February 2012, Lion Air placed an order for 201 of the in-development 737 MAX and 29 of the extended range 737-900 in a $22.4 billion deal valued at list price. Boeing said all inquiries should be directed to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, in accordance with worldwide protocol.

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