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Indonesia: families await news after plane crashed into the sea, more than 60 feared dead

Telegraph, 09 Jan 2021
An aircraft carrying more than 60 people has crashed into the sea off Indonesia, officials have said.

The Boeing 737-500, which belonged to the Sriwijaya Air airline, lost contact with an airport control tower shortly after taking off at 2.36pm local time.

The crash was said to have taken place around Lancang Island in the Thousand Islands.

Novie Riyanto, the Director General of Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, was quoted on local media as saying that officials had lost contact with the plane and were trying to establish what had happened.

The plane - flight SJ182 - was travelling from Jakarta to Pontianak.

The aviation tracking website Flightradar24, showed the aircraft plummeting from 8,000ft to 252ft at 33,000 feet per minute:

A search and rescue ship has now been despatched to the area. The Thousand Islands are a chain of islands to the north of Jakarta's coast.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people.

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