Lion Air passenger jet has crashed in Indonesia, says rescue agency

Alicia Cross
October 29, 2018

Indonesia's Lion Air said it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra early Monday. Next of kin have gathered at Pangkal Pinang airport to get the latest updates, CBS News has learned.

Some were heard saying "Ya Allah" or "Oh God".

He added that the aircraft was carrying 178 adult passengers, one child and two babies, with two pilots and five flight attendants.

Privately owned budget carrier Lion Air was founded in 1999 and its only fatal accident to date was when an MD-82 crashed upon landing at Solo City in 2004, killing 25 of the 163 people on board, according to the Flight Safety Foundation's Aviation Safety Network.

The site says the 737 Max 8 plane was registered as PK-LQP and was delivered to the airline in August.

A Lion Air commercial plane photographed on October 7, 2018. In general pilots for major airlines will fly between 75 and 90 hours a month so if they are flying 8 hour segments, they will fly 10 or 11... if they are flying 2 hour segments they will fly 38-45.

Wreckage had been found near where the Lion Air plane lost contact with air traffic officials on the ground, said Muhmmad Syaugi, the head of the search and rescue agency.

Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani also arrived at the agency and met with its chief, seeking information about 20 finance ministry staff who were on the flight.

"Boeing stands ready to provide technical assistance to the accident investigation", it said, adding that in accordance with worldwide protocol, all inquiries should be directed to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee.

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The latest crash comes after the tragic December 2014 crash of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 into the Java Sea after taking off from Surabaya.

Debris has been spotted including a passenger seat, Indonesian media have reported.

Lion Air is considered one of Indonesia's fastest growing and most affordable airlines.

Lion Air has set up a crisis centre at Soekarno-Hatta airport's Terminal 1 to assist family members of passengers.

"It's true that Lion Air JT 610 has lost contact", said AirNav Indonesia spokesman Yohanes Harry Douglas.

Several people were injured in the crash, but nobody was killed.

The Lion Air flight that crashed Monday morning into Indonesian seas was commanded by India's Bhavye Suneja.

It has emerged that the accident is the first to befall the widely-sold the Boeing 737 MAX.

Indonesia's air travel industry is booming, but has a reputation of poor safety regulations and frequent incidents across the board.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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