62 feared dead in Indonesia plane crash

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At least 62 persons were feared dead after a Sriwijaya Air plane crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Saturday.

The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain.

Indonesian Transport Minister, Budi Karya, told a news conference that 62 people were aboard the plane, including 12 crew members.

He said the plane crashed near Laki Island, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the airport.

Rescue agency Basarnas said in a statement it would send a team to the Thousand Islands area to help in the search for victims “after the crash of Sriwijaya Air SJ 182.”

“All those onboard the plane were Indonesian,” Indonesia’s transport safety committee said.

Indonesia’s Navy had pinpointed the site of the missing aircraft and ships had been sent there.

Authorities did not say whether there were survivors in the plane crash.

The Sriwijaya Air’s Chief Executive, Jefferson Jauwena, said at a news conference that the plane was in good condition before the flight.

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