A Lion Air airplane in Jakarta, Indonesia crashed into the ocean this morning only 13 minutes after taking off. The aircraft, which was headed about an hour away to Pangkal Pinang, was carrying 189 passengers–including one child, two infants, and 20 Indonesian ministry officials.
According to initial reports, soon after leaving the runway the plane vanished from radar. Minutes before, it had made the request to return to its original takeoff base. CNN reports that the pilots did not indicate that it was an emergency.
The plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8–a new aircraft, which had reportedly experienced some problems the night before. Still, Lion Air’s CEO Edward Sirait said during an interview today that the problem had been fixed, and the flight had been deemed airworthy. It’s still unclear exactly what caused the crash.
No survivors have been found, and search teams believe that the plane has almost certainly sunk. Objects have been found near the crash site–including a destroyed smartphone, life vests, books, bags, and other plane debris.
Search crews are now looking for black-box recordings and other evidence to help figure out exactly what caused the plunge. The search will be aided by a consortium of international players–including Boeing and the U.S.’s National Transportation Safety Board.
We’ll be updating this post as more information comes in.