INDONESIAN PASSENGER PLANE CARRYING 62 PEOPLE DISAPPPEARS FROM RADAR

A Sriwijaya Air passenger plane lost contact with air traffic controllers after taking off from Jakarta on a domestic flight, officials say. The jet, a Boeing 737-500, was carrying 62 people.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said Flight SJ182 was delayed for an hour before it took off at 2:36 p.m. The plane disappeared from radar four minutes later, after the pilot contacted air traffic control to ascend to an altitude of 29,000 feet, he said.

Tracking service Flightradar24 said the plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than a minute.

A statement released by the airline said the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesia’s Borneo island. There were 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.

Local media reports said fishermen spotted metal objects believed to be parts of a plane on Saturday afternoon in the Thousand Islands, a chain of islands north of Jakarta. Irawati said a search and rescue operation was underway in coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee.

INDONESIA-AVIATION-ACCIDENT
Relatives of passengers on board missing Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 wait for news at the Supadio airport in Pontianak on Indonesia’s Borneo island on January 9, 2021.LOUIS ANDERSON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

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