Crashed Lion Air plane was relatively new: Authorities

Jakarta - A Lion Air plane, carrying 189 passengers that crashed in the waters of TanjungKerawang, West Java, on Monday, was considered to be a new aircraft, National Committee of Transportation Safety Head SoerjantoTjahjono stated.

"The Lion Air JT610 flight used the latest Boeing 737 Max type," he informed the press here, Monday.

The ill-fated aircraft joined the Lion Air fleet in August 2018 and had 800 hours of flight time.

The cause of the accident is still unknown and is currently under investigation, he added.

"The Adam Air and Silk Air accidents several years ago involved human factors as one of the causes. In this Lion Air case, we cannot guess as yet," he noted.

Meanwhile, Corporate Communication Strategic Officer of Lion Air Danang Mandala remarked that the crashed Boeing 737 Max 8 plane was airworthy and had been operated by the airlines since August 15, 2018.

The planes wreckage and several body parts were found floating in the sea not far from Jakarta.

The plane crashed 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta toward Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung Province, on Monday morning.

The aircraft departed from Jakarta at 6:20 a.m. local time and was scheduled to arrive in Pangkalpinang at 7:05 a.m. local time, according to the Depati Amir airport authority in Pangkalpinang.

Before it lost contact, the aircraft had sought permission to return to Jakarta due to a problem.

The aircraft carried 178 adult passengers, three infants, and six crew members as well as two pilots.

The Indonesian authorities have set up a crisis center at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng.

Among the aircrafts passengers were tens of civil servants from the Finance Ministry and the Supreme Audit Agency, six legislators of Bangka Belitung, and three police officers.

Source: Antara News

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