Jakarta, October 29: A jet airliner carrying 189 passengers and crew crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Indonesia's capital on Monday, prompting a major effort in the region that soon turned from rescue to recovery when officials disclosed there were likely no survivors.
Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja captained the ill-fated Indonesian plane with co-pilot Harvino. Captain Suneja, originally from New Delhi, was a resident of Jakarta. The Indian embassy in Jakarta has confirmed the death of Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja in the plane crash.
PM Narendra Modi paid his tributes to people lost lives in the incident, “My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the plane crash in Indonesia. May Almighty give them strength and courage in this hour of grief.”
The Lion Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft had just taken off from Jakarta when the pilot requested to return to the airport three minutes into the flight. Data for Lion Air's Flight 610 on aircraft tracking website FlightAware ends just a few minutes following takeoff, with the plane at an altitude of only 5,200 feet.
An air transport official, Novie Riyanto, told the Associated Press the flight was cleared to return to Jakarta after the pilot made a "return to base" request, but the flight plunged into the sea about 10 minutes later.
Indonesian authorities were still searching for the remains of the privately owned budget carrier Lion Airplane which crashed into the Java sea on today morning. The plane was carrying 189 passengers and crew. It lost contact with air traffic control around 6.30 am en route to Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka.