A Sriwijaya Air plane carrying 62 people on board is feared to have crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta, according to Indonesia’s Head Of National Transportation Safety Committee, Suryanto Cahyono.
Sriwijaya Air flight 182 from Jakarta to Pontianak, in Indonesian Borneo, lost contact at 2:40 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (2:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday.Maj.
Gen Bambang Suryo Aji of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, Basarnas, told reporters on Saturday that the plane is believed to have crashed between the islands of Laki and Lancang, in the Thousand Islands chain northwest of the capital, Jakarta. Basarnas is now conducting a search operation.
Three fishermen from Lancang Island told CNN they heard an explosion and experienced a sudden large wave around the time the plane went missing.”I heard very loud explosion.
I thought it was a bomb or a big thunder. We then saw the big wave, about 2 meters high, hitting our boat,” Hendrik Mulyadi told CNN.Hendrik’s colleague, Solihin, described the sound as “a bomb on the water.”
They said it was dark and raining at the time.The men said they didn’t see a plane crash into the sea, but smelled fuel and spotted debris. The men said they returned to shore to report what they experienced to police.
The missing Indonesia plane was carrying 50 passengers — 43 adults and 7 children — as well as 12 crew members, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said during a press conference.
The Indonesian Navy has deployed five warships and diving troops in the search, according to Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid.A coast guard captain with Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry said an emergency evacuation slide from a Boeing 737 has been found at sea in the location near the site where the crash is thought to have happened.