An eyewitness has confirmed that the Indonesian Boeing 737 passenger plane carrying 62 people including seven children and three babies on board had crashed into the sea before exploding in the water. The Sriwijaya Air jet had disappeared from the radar within minutes of its take-off from the Jakarta airport on Sunday.
Quoting a fisherman, the BBC reported that the plane had crashed into the sea. Fisherman Solihin, who goes by one name, told the BBC Indonesian service that he was a witness to the crash when he was out in the sea fishing with his captain. Soon after the crash, the fisherman said that his captain decided to return to land.
“The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water. It was pretty close to us, the shards of a kind of plywood almost hit my ship,” the fisherman was quoted as saying.
According to CNN, Maj. Gen Bambang Suryo Aji of Basarnas, Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency, told reporters on Saturday that the plane was believed to have crashed between the islands of Laki and Lancang, in the Thousand Islands chain northwest of Jakarta.
Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 had said that the Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10.000 feet of altitude in less than one minute within four minutes of its take-off from Jakarta. The flight was en route from Jakarta to Pontianak in Indonesia.
Aviation news portal AIR Live reported that the search and rescue team had found debris in Jakarta bay. Authorities in Indonesia have deployed more than 10 ships with navy divers.