JUST IN: All 189 Passengers In Indonesian Plane Crash Feared Dead


JUST IN: All 189 Passengers In Indonesian Plane Crash Feared Dead

Indonesia — A Lion Air passenger plane that took off Monday from Jakarta crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff with 189 people on board, all of whom are feared dead in Indonesia’s worst air disaster in recent years.

Authorities quickly launched a search-and-rescue mission but later said they do not expect to find any survivors.

Rescuers soon began pulling debris out of the sea, including parts of the aircraft’s fuselage, ID cards and bags belonging to the passengers on board.

Speaking to an Indonesian television network, a police officer said at least one body has been recovered. People at an offshore refining facility nearby also found remains of the aircraft, including plane seats, in the water.

Officials said they have received no confirmation that anyone has survived.

“My prediction is that no one has survived, because none of the victims have been found” fully intact and alive, said Bambang Suryo Aji, the national search and rescue agency’s director of operations. Six body bags have been taken to the hospital, he added, filled with parts of the victim’s bodies.

More than 300 rescuers have been deployed from the agency, he said, and are still searching for the main body of the plane.

Lion Air Flight 610 lost contact with air traffic officials and fell from over 3,000 feet about 13 minutes after takeoff, plunging into the sea below, officials said, adding that people on a nearby tugboat watched the plane descend.

Skies were clear, and there were no weather abnormalities.

In a news conference, Lion Air Group’s chief executive, Edward Sirait, said the plane, a new model from Boeing, had a technical issue on a previous flight that was resolved “according to procedure.” He did not give details.

“Let the authorities investigate what happened to it,” he added, refusing to speculate on the cause. “But I made sure that this plane was released to fly by our engineers.”

Among those on board were two pilots, six flight attendants and two babies, as well as 20 employees from Indonesia’s Finance Ministry. The pilot, Capt. Bhavye Suneja was from India and had more than 6,000 flight hours, and his co-pilot had more than 5,000 hours.

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