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Sabtu, 09 Januari 2021

Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 from Jakarta, Indonesia feared crashed after losing contact - The Australian

Relatives of passengers on Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 leave the crisis centre in Soekarno Hatta Airport. Picture: Getty Images
Relatives of passengers on Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 leave the crisis centre in Soekarno Hatta Airport. Picture: Getty Images

An Indonesian Sriwijaya Air plane carrying 62 passengers and crew, including 10 children, is feared to have crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Saturday as it was on route to the West Kalimantan city of Pontianak.

Tracking data released by website FlightRadar24 showed the 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 passenger plane plunged more than 10,000 feet in less than a minute shortly after taking off from the Indonesian capital for the 90 minute flight.

The Ministry of Transportation confirmed Sriwijaya Air SJY 182 lost contact at 1440 (AEST1840pm) on Saturday and that there were 62 people on board, including seven children and three infants.

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“There has been a lost contact for the Sriwijaya aircraft on the Jakarta-Pontianak route with the SJY 182 call sign. The last contact was made at 14:40,” Ministry of Transportation spokesman Adita Irawati told CNNIndonesia.com.

An Indonesian aircraft with 62 people on board went missing shortly after takeoff on January 9. This Flightradar24 animation shows the moment Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182, bound for Pontianak, lost contact with air traffic control about four minutes after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta. The plane dropped around 10,000 feet in less than one minute after losing contact, according to Flightradar24. Credit: Flightradar24 via Storyful

“At this point, we are investigating and co-ordinating the matter with Basarnas (the search and rescue agency) and KNKT (the transport safety body). We will release more information as soon as there are developments.”

Indonesia’s latest suspected air disaster comes just 27 months after 189 people died when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight.

Local television channels showed search and rescue teams pulling debris from waters around the Thousand Islands north of Jakarta, around where the plane is suspected to have gone down, though officials could not confirm that the debris was from the flight.

One fisherman, Solihin, told the BBC he saw a plane crash into the sea as he was fishing near Lancang Island.

Search and rescue operations are underway at sea for a Sriwijaya Air 737-500 airliner, with 62 people on board, which lost contact shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

“The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water. It was pretty close to us. The shards of a kind of plywood almost hit my ship.”

National Transport Safety Committee operations director Bambang Sryoaji said search and rescue boats and radar equipment had been deployed to a location between Laki and Lancang Island, where the plane is suspected to have crashed and that debris found there was “suspected to be from the plane”.

“These debris pieces are in our possession now. Tonight we will find the exact location where the plane fell,” he told media in a brief press conference on Saturday night.

“We are predicting the maximum depth around Laki and Lacang Island is 20 to 23 metres. We don’t know the exact location. The pieces we have found, we will study this whether they have come from the Sriwijaya plane.”

Emergency searches were conducted off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia, on January 9, after contact was lost with a Sriwijaya Air commercial passenger plane shortly after it took off with 62 people on board. According to FlightRadar24 data the plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than a minute. This clip, posted on Twitter by the Provincial Fire and Rescue Agency of Jakarta, shows emergency responders joining search-and-rescue operations on Saturday afternoon. Sriwijaya Air said in a statement that the plane lost contact at 14.40 pm Western Indonesia Time. The aircraft was manned by six crew members and was carrying 56 passengers, including 10 children and another six airline employees, the airline said. “Our prayers go out to all our passengers and crew and their families. For now, we’re continuing to co-ordinate with the relevant authorities and are providing all necessary support,” Sriwijaya Air said. Credit: Provincial Fire and Rescue Agency of Jakarta via Storyful

Indonesia’s aviation sector has a long history of poor safety records and it was only in June 2018 that the EU finally lifted its 2007 ban on all remaining Indonesian airlines, long after having lifted its ban for major airlines such as Garuda.

Sriwijaya Air said in a statement it was still gathering more detailed information regarding the flight before it can make a fuller statement.

The airline largely services domestic routes but has flights to Penang in Malaysia and Dili in East Timor.

Boeing spokeswoman Zoe Leong said in a statement; “We are aware of media reports from Jakarta, and are closely monitoring the situation.”

A Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 with 62 people lost contact with controllers shortly after takeoff in Jakarta on Saturday, and suspected debris has been found off the city's coastline. Adam Reed reports.

— with agencies

South East Asia Correspondent

Amanda Hodge is The Australian’s South East Asia correspondent, based in Jakarta. Previously based in New Delhi, she has lived and worked in Asia for more than a decade covering social and political upheaval fr...

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2021-01-09 19:52:30Z
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