Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, although its safety record is patchy.The crash could potentially be the country’s second worst air disaster since 1997.
An Indonesian airliner crashed into the sea off West Java on Monday, with the likely loss of all 189 people aboard, as it tried to return to Jakarta minutes after take-off.
About 20 of the 189 people on board were Indonesian finance department officials who had travelled to Jakarta for a conference. Three children, two of them infants, and eight crewmembers were also among those on board.
The pilot of a Lion Air flight that plummeted into the sea on Monday morning was Indian national Bhavye Suneja who died in the crash. Lion Air in a statement said Suneja had 6,000 flight hours.
Indonesian search and rescue official Bambang Suryo Aji said the recovery effort was focusing on finding bodies and that he was not expecting anyone to have survived.
Lion Air said the plane was delivered on August 15 and had clocked 800 hours of flying time before the disaster.The cause of the crash is unknown.
In an official statement, the rescue agency said the reason for the crash was still uncertain and confirmed that the plane’s emergency local transmitter beacon did not emit a distress signal.
Rescuers have released footage of debris and personal items floating in the water at the crash site, including handbags, clothing, mobile phones, ID cards and driving licences.
Lion Air’s chief executive, Edward Sirait, told reporters the plane had suffered “a technical issue” on Sunday night but engineers had cleared it to fly on Monday morning.
The United States and the European Union had banned Indonesian aircraft from their skies in 2007 after a string of accidents.The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, expressed his condolences in a televised address.