A Sriwijaya Air plane crashed into the sea on Saturday minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on a domestic flight with 62 people on board.
The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain.
Flight tracking data showed the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plunged into a steep dive about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta international airport.
Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard Flight SJ 182, including 12 crew. The detik.com website quoted him as saying the plane crashed near Laki Island, some 20 km (12 miles) from the airport.
Rescue agency Basarnas said in a statement it would send a team to the Thousand Islands area to help in the search for victims “after the crash of Sriwijaya Air SJ 182”.
Sixty-two passengers and crew were on board, including 10 children, the nation’s transport minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, told reporters.
The nearly 27-year-old Boeing 737-500 was much older than Boeing’s problem-plagued 737 MAX model, one of which crashed off Jakarta in late 2018, killing all 189 people aboard the Lion Air flight. Older 737 models are widely flown and do not have the system implicated in the MAX safety crisis.