News ID: 233579
Published: 0357 GMT October 30, 2018

President offers condolences over Indonesia plane crash

President offers condolences over Indonesia plane crash
Recovered remains from the doomed flight were sent to hospital for DNA testing

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani extended his condolences to his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo over a passenger plane crash with 189 people on board.

In his message to the Indonesian president, Rouhani said he was deeply saddened by the tragic incident of the plane crash, which led to the death of the country's nationals, including a number of government officials, Press TV reported.

The Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the sea on Monday as it tried to return to Jakarta minutes after takeoff.

Lion Air flight JT610, an almost new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route from the capital to Pangkal Pinang, center of the Bangka-Belitung tin mining region. Rescue officials said they had recovered human remains from the crash site, about 15km (nine miles) off the coast, Reuters reported.

The crash is the country’s second-worst air disaster since 1997, industry experts said.

The pilot had asked to return to base (RTB) shortly after takeoff. It lost contact with ground staff after 13 minutes.

"An RTB was requested and had been approved but we're still trying to figure out the reason," Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia's transport safety committee, told reporters, referring to the pilot's request.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was built in 2018 and went into service just two months ago.

Lion Air said the plane had an unspecified technical issue fixed in Bali before it was flown back to Jakarta, AFP reported.

Two passengers on the plane's previous flight from Bali to Jakarta on Sunday described issues that caused annoyance and alarm.

Alon Soetanto told TVOne the plane dropped suddenly several times in the first few minutes of its flight.

His account is consistent with data from flight-tracking sites that show erratic speed, altitude and direction in the minutes after the jet took off. A similar pattern is also seen in data pinged from Monday's fatal flight. Safety experts cautioned, however, that the data must be checked for accuracy against the plane's "black boxes," which officials are confident will be recovered.


Fake News


A string of fake news stories have been circulating in the aftermath of the crash, including one that falsely claims to show a baby who survived the accident and a video purportedly showing panicked passengers just before the crash.

Indonesian disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho has knocked down both claims.


Boeing planes inspection


Indonesian aviation authorities will inspect all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes belonging to the country's commercial airlines, Transportation Ministry official Captain Avirianto told CNN.

Lion Air currently has 11 models in its fleet while Garuda Indonesia has one. Lion Air’s 12th 737 Max 8 was lost in a crash after takeoff Monday from Jakarta.

Avirianto would not comment on the outcome of the Garuda inspection.



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