The Indonesian plane that dropped off the radar shortly after taking off from Jakarta crashed into the Java Sea. The country’s transportation ministry reported the last contact with the plane four minutes after taking off on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 — 12 miles north of Jakarta.
After a 30-minute weather-related delay, the flight took off during heavy monsoon rain. Traveling amid the storm, the plane fell more than 10,000 feet in less than one minute, according to the flight-tracking service, Flightradar24. Sixty-two people, including flight crew, were aboard the 26-year-old jet when it disappeared.
Saturday evening Indonesian Sriwijaya Air CEO Jefferson Irwin Jauwena said, “they are very concerned about this incident.” He hopes the search runs smoothly and promises the company to provide as much assistance as possible.
An uncle of one of the passengers on Flight 182 said his nephew called him to tell him their flight had been delayed. His nephew, Rizki Wahyudi, was on the plane with his wife, child, mom, and cousin.
On Sunday morning, signals from the plane’s black box were traced. Bagus Puruhito, the chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, said they had detected signals in two locations. Ships with navy divers aboard were promptly dispatched.
Rizki’s uncle continued to hold hope for his family’s wellbeing as he was waiting for search and rescue boats to report findings. He said, “There will be a miracle from Allah.”
Jakarta police reported that body parts and some clothing had been found in the water northwest of the airport. A police spokesman, Yusri Yunus, reported they had received two bags from search and rescue teams. He told reporters one contained personal property and the other held body parts.
Indonesian authorities have asked that family members of those on Flight 182 provide DNA samples or medical and dental records to facilitate speedy identification of the remains.
Witnesses told BBC Indonesian Service reporters they had seen and heard an explosion. A fisherman said that after he witnessed the plane’s crash, his captain decided to dock the boat. Solihin described what he saw:
The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded into the water. It was pretty close to us, the shards of a kind of plywood almost hit my ship.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
BBC: Indonesia Boeing 737 passenger plane crash site found, navy says
The News York Times: Indonesian Jetliner Crashes Into the Sea After Takeoff, Carrying 62; by Niraj Chokshi
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