January 9, 2021

Flight SJ182 disappears from radars shortly after takeoff from Jakarta

The Boeing 737 plane lost more than 3,000 meters of altitude in less than a minute, reported flight tracker website FlightRadar24

A Sriwijaya Air plane lost contact shortly after takeoff from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Saturday, according to government spokesman Adita Irawati.

"The missing plane is currently under investigation and under coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee," Irawati said in a statement.

Tracking showed the path of flight SJ182 ending off the coast just north of Jakarta after losing altitude.

What we know so far:

The plane was took off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport at  about 1:56 p.m. (0656 UTC) to Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan.

The flight last made contact at 2:40 p.m.

There were at least 59 on board, including five children and a baby, reported Indonesian newspaper Republika.

There were two pilots and four cabin crew on board, reported Indonesia's iNews.

The plane lost more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) of altitude in less than a minute, reported flight tracker website FlightRadar24.

The plane model was a Boeing 737-500.

Has the plane crashed?

There are no official confirmations of a crash.

The Regent of the Thousand Islands said he had information that "something fell and exploded on Male Island," in comments to Indonesian newspaper Merdeka.

Previously, the Soekarno-Hatta Airport Branch Communications Manager Haerul Anwar said that the Sriwijaya Air plane had lost contact around Lancang Island — part of the Thousand Islands chain.

Unconfirmed images of small debris fished from the water were broadcast by local media.

"We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water," CNN Indonesia quoted security official Zulkifli as saying.

A patrol boat from the Ministry of Transportation found possible human body parts and oil near to the reported site of a crash, reported local news outlet Kompas.

Boeing in trouble

Boeing manufactured the infamous 737 MAX model involved in two major crashes that killed hundreds of people in less than a year.

In October of that year, 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.

In March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board died.

The model was grounded and the company was Boeing was fined €2.04 billion (€2.04 billion) over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model.

The plane that lost contact on Saturday is a much older model.

Also Read: Pakistan sentences Mumbai attacks mastermind Lakhvi to 5 years for terror financing

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