An Indonesian commercial airplane carrying 62 people went missing on Saturday, minutes after taking off from Indonesian capital Jakarta. Onboard the plane were 50 passengers — compromised of 43 adults and 7 children — as well as 12 crew members.
The plane is now understood to have crashed into the Java Sea, with all 62 passengers reported as either missing or dead. Survival prospects seem decidedly grim, as Indonesian rescuers have discovered, in addition to pieces of wreckage and black boxes, human remains. Bags containing human remains and items of clothing have been sent to an investigation unit in Jakarta for identification. The main body of the plane is yet to be discovered.
The plane, which was headed to Pontianak from Jakarta, took off amid heavy rainfall. Four minutes into the flight, the plane dropped 10,000 feet in under a minute before radars lost track of it.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency report that they are still working full time to conduct their search and rescue operation. Currently, 28 ships, 2 airplanes, and 5 helicopters are involved in the operation. The cause of the crash is presently still unknown.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivered a somber message to his nation following the crash. “We will do our best to find and save the victims, and together, let’s pray that they can be found. In the name of the government and Indonesian people, we would like to express our condolences on what has happened.”
The pilot’s nephew identified him as a kind man who did not like to leave his family behind. “He was a very good man. He often gave advice, wise advice. He was a prominent figure in his neighborhood and was well-known for his kindness. I’m devastated and can’t believe that this is happening. Please pray for my uncle and our family.”