A passenger plane in Indonesia with 62 people on board is believed to have crashed Saturday shortly after taking off from the country’s capital.
Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 lost contact at 2:40 p.m. local time (2:40 a.m. ET), roughly four minutes after takeoff from Jakarta on its way to Pontianak, a city on the island of Borneo, said Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry.
The Boeing 737-524 had 43 adult passengers on board along with seven children and 12 crew members, Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, said during a press conference. The plane had been in service for 26 years and officials are investigating debris, potentially from the plane, that has been discovered.
The plane took off during heavy rain and was working to get to 13,000 feet altitude. Four minutes in the plane hit 11,000 feet then dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before completely falling off radar, according to data from global flight tracking service Flightradar24.
Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10.000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta.https://t.co/fNZqlIR2dz pic.twitter.com/MAVfbj73YN
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 9, 2021
The debris found by the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency was located on Thousand Islands just northwest of Jakarta. The debris will be given to the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee to confirm it is debris from the plane.
Indonesia has a history of issues with airfare, including a flight in 2018 that crashed and killed all 189 people. That crash, along with another one the following year in Ethiopia, forced a global grounding for Boeing 737 Max airplanes. That plane series only recently returned to service.
Sriwijaya Air said they will “immediately issue an official statement” after they get more details about the latest incident.
The Hill has reached to Boeing for comment.