44 injured in Indonesia plane crash

Jakarta, April 14 (IANS) At least 44 people rescued from a Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed into sea near Indonesia’s Bali island were treated for injuries, hospital officials said. All 101 people on board the plane miraculously survived the crash.

The Lion Air budget airlines plane overshot the runway and plunged into sea while landing at an airport in Bali Saturday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

Indonesian Transport Minister E.E. Mangindaan said the plane could not slow down due to its broken tail.

The accident happened when the plane from Bandung, capital of West Java, was trying to land at an airport in Denpasar, capital of Bali, said Herry Bakti Gumai, director general for air transport at the transport ministry.

Evacuation of the people on board has been completed and there was no casualty, the transport minister said.

An official of Lion Air said the plane and its crew were fit to fly.

At a press conference, Lion Air spokesman Edward Sirait said the ill-fated Boeing 737-800 produced in 2012 was delivered to the Indonesian budget airlines last month.

“That crashed plane arrived in Jakarta on March 28 from its production centre. It was part of 12 planes of its kind we ordered from Boeing,” Edward said.

He said that before the crash, the plane served flights to Palu and Pekanbaru, capital cities of Central Sulawesi and Riau provinces.

The plane departed from Bandung’s Hussain Sastranegara airport and was scheduled to land at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport at 15:30 Central Indonesian time.

“The plane carried 101 passengers including 95 adults, 5 children and 1 baby, and 7 crew. All of them were safe,” Edward said.

He said the pilots were fit to fly as all of them had qualified the six-month flight check by the firm.

He said Lion Air would remove the wreckage of the plane from the crash site after obtaining clearance from the country’s aviation authorities. The crash site was 50 metres from the airport.

Edward said Lion Air would provide compensation to passengers for medical treatment and losses.

The transport ministry has dispatched officials to investigate the crash along with officials from National Flight Safety Committee, the ministry’s spokesperson Bambang S. Ervan said.

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