Lion Air 737 MAX 8 Crashes Into Java Sea (Updated)

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A Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the Java Sea just after takeoff early Monday and the fate of the 189 people aboard remains unknown. The aircraft was en route to Pangkal Pinang island, about 400 miles north, when it went down just off the coast. It crashed into the water 13 minutes after takeoff following an erratic climb.

“We are waiting for a miracle of God,” Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, deputy operations chief at the national search-and-rescue agency, told news agencies. At least 300 rescuers were deployed to the crash site, where they were recovering crash debris but, as of early Monday east coast time, no survivors.

Controllers lost radio contact with Lion Air JT-610 before it descended 3000 feet to impact the sea off the coast of Jakarta. FlightAware and Flightradar24 showed the aircraft, a new Boeing 737 Max 8 purchased earlier this year, climbing erratically, never reaching its assigned altitude. Lion Air was established in 1999 and is Indonesia’s largest budget airline. AVweb will update this story as more information becomes available.

Among the passengers were 20 Indonesian government officials. There were no early reports of casualties but small wreckage, including seats, has been found floating on the surface. The aircraft left Jakarta at 6:21 a.m. Monday morning and the aircraft crashed about 13 minutes later. Winds were calm and skies were mostly clear at the time of the crash.