Denpasar (Indonesia), Apr 13 (AFP)
A passenger jet operated by budget airline Lion Air — which recently sealed blockbuster orders for new planes — missed the runway at Bali airport today and landed in the sea but everybody on board survived.
The Boeing jet carrying more than 100 passengers missed the runway as it came in to land in good weather conditions at Denpasar airport on the Indonesian resort island, transport ministry official Herry Bhakti told AFP.
Bhakti initially said the plane overshot the runway, but later clarified his comments to say that it landed straight in the water.
Images of the incident site showed the plane partially submerged in the water with inflatable slides deployed from the front exits and a large crack in the fuselage towards the rear of the aircraft. Passengers in life jackets could be seen in the water.
A Lion Air airplane carrying 102 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing on the ocean after it overshot the runway at Ngurah Rai Airport on Saturday afternoon.
Sherly Yunita, a public relations officer at Ngurah Rai Airport, told the Jakarta Globe that the passenger plane did not touch the runway and landed directly onto the sea.
“The cause is not known yet,” Sherly said. “It was an emergency landing.”
Dozens of passengers have been sent to hospitals in Denpasar with 10 passengers hospitalized at the Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar and two at the Kasih Ibu Hospital.
Victims with serious injuries have been taken to the Siloam Hospital in Kuta.
A passenger, identified as Dewi, complained that the pilot did not alert the passengers before the emergency landing.
“Suddenly I saw the airplane was so close with the sea and hit the water with a loud sound,” Dewi said. “All passengers were panicking, screaming. Passengers tried to get the life jackets and were rushed to the emergency exits.”
Dewi, who suffered an injury to her head, managed to swim to the beach after getting out of the plane.
The Lion Air Boeing 737-800 ER jet was traveling from Bandung to Denpasar when it was forced to make an emergency landing, Eko Diantoro, the general manager from airport operator Angkasa Pura II, told TVOne on Saturday.
Eko said there were 102 passengers — 96 adults, five children and one baby — and seven crew members on board the flight that left Husein Sastranegara International Airport, Bandung at 12:56 p.m. The flight was due to land at 3:40 p.m. local time. The flight crashed into the water at 3:35 p.m, 50 meters from the runway.
Eko said that weather conditions in Denpasar were good.
“We don’t know the cause of the accident,” Eko said. “We don’t have the detail of the passengers condition, but all are alive.”
In October 2011, a Lion Air flight overshot the runway at the Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. There were no casualties as the passenger plane managed to stop on a soft surface in place to trap an aircraft from running on from the landing area, or even into the sea, in the case of an emergency.