Rescue efforts underway after Indonesia's Lion Air crash

Monday, October 29, 2018

Search and rescue efforts are underway after a passenger plane of Indonesia's Lion Air crashed into the sea off western Indonesia on Monday.

The plane with 189 people aboard went down off Karawang of Indonesia's West Java province shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

Among the 189 people aboard were three children, said the head of the National Search and Rescue Office, Muhammad Syaugi.

The Lion Air plane with flight number of JT 610 took off from the Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Banten province on Monday morning, Syaugi said.

"We have dispatched 130 personnel and another 30 from other units, three ships, one helicopter and several boats," Syaugi told a press conference at his office.

He said one of the focuses of the mission was to dive into the waters with an average depth of between 30 and 35 meters deep to reach the main wreckage of the plane.

"We are now attempting to dive to retrieve the main wreckage of the plane. When we saw it from the air, we have confirmed (it is found). We have discovered buoys, mobile phone and several pieces of things," Syaugi said.

The plane carried a total of 189 people, 181 of whom were passengers, said spokesman of the Transport Ministry, Bambang Ervan.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft bound for Pangkal Pinang left the Soekarno-Hatta airport at around 06:10am local time, he said.

"The plane had requested (the air traffic control) to return to base before disappearing from radar," Ervan said. - Xinhua