Indonesia Confirms Boeing Plane Crashes Near Airport with 62 People Onboard


JANUARY 09, 2021

Jakarta. A Boeing 737-500 with 62 people onboard crashed shortly after takeoff from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten on Saturday afternoon, a senior official has confirmed.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi confirmed when asked if the plane operated by Sriwijaya Air has crashed after Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact with the plane at 2:40 p.m. Jakarta time, just around four minutes after takeoff for Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan.

“It crashed near Laki Island,” the minister told local news website

Located only 24 kilometers northwest of the airport, the island belongs to Thousand Islands District, Jakarta.

A district official identified as Surachman told local fishermen had reported that they heard twin explosions in the waters near the island. There was a heavy rain at the time of the incident, he said.

According to the passenger manifest, the plane carried 62 people including 12 cabin crews, Minister Budi said.

Sriwijaya Air said it was still gathering information from the ground and said it would soon issue an official statement.

Data shared by Flightradar, a Swedish internet-based flight tracker, showed the Boeing 737-524 aircraft lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute.

The aircraft was 26 years old, starting operation in May 1994, Flightradar data showed.

Sriwijaya has operated the plane since 2012.

Search and rescue team members aboard a ship in Thousand Islands waters show debris believed to be that of a Sriwijaya Air plane that went missing on Jan. 9, 2021. (Beritasatu file photo)