JAKARTA: According to the media reports, Indonesia-A Lion Air jetliner carrying 188 people crashed soon after takeoff today morning from Jakarta in what was the first major accident involving a new variant of the popular Boeing 737.
Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, confirmed that the plane crashed. Port authorities said that vessels had been deployed to an area off the coast of Java, the archipelago nation’s main island, to the area where it was last heard from.
Indonesia’s air-traffic control authority said it lost contact with Flight JT610 at 6:33 a.m., about 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta’s main airport for Pangkal Pinang, a city on the island of Bangka, near Sumatra.
The Transportation Ministry said the aircraft was carrying 181 passengers and seven crew members and that the plane’s pilots had requested to return to the Jakarta airport before disappearing from radar.