A Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 model operated by the low-cost Indonesian airline Lion Air has crashed while on a domestic flight from Jakarta.
All 188 people on board (including three children and seven crew members) are reported dead. Some 20 officials of Indonesian Ministry of Finance were on board.
Sindu Rahayu of the Air Transportation Directorate General said at a press conference that the plane requested an emergency landing almost immediately after it took off but authorities lost contact with it after the request. It is believed to have ended up underwater.
“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the Indonesian rescue agency, said, as cited by Reuters.
The flight JT610 was on a scheduled flight to Pangkal Pinang, the main town in the Bangka Belitung Islands.
“The plane crashed into water about 30m to 40m deep,” Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Yusuf Latif told AFP news agency. “We’re still searching for the remains of the plane.”
According to Airlive.net, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (reg. PK-LQP) was three months old. It performed its first flight in July 30, 2018.