Lion Air plane crashes, sinks after takeoff from Jakarta

Lion Air plane crashes, sinks after takeoff from Jakarta
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An Indonesian aircraft crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on Monday, likely killing all 189 people on board, Reuters reported.

Lion Air flight JUT610 had taken off from the capital early Monday en route to Pangkal Pinang. The pilot lost contact with officials on the ground  after 13 minutes, and the plane attempted to circle back to Jakarta.

It's unclear why pilots attempted to turn back, but the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the sea a short time later, according to Reuters. The plane was carrying 181 passengers, six crew members and two pilots.


Lion Air said in a statement that the plane had been in service since August, and was declared "operationally feasible." The pilots on the flight had accrued more than 11,000 flight hours between them, the company said.

"Lion Air is concerned with the incident and will work with the relevant authorities and agencies on this matter," the airline said in a statement.

Reuters reported that at least 23 government officials were on the plane, as was one Italian passenger and one Indian pilot.

If all 189 passengers are confirmed dead, it would reportedly be the second-deadliest air disaster in Indonesia since 1997.