The plane, a 737-500 aircraft, was 26 years old, much older than the Boeing 737 MAX that was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes, including a Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people in 2018, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The Sriwijaya Air flight had 62 people aboard and was headed to Pontianak on the island of Borneo from the nation’s capital, according to an Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokeswoman.
The crash was said to have taken place around Lancang Island in the Thousand Islands, according to a report from the Telegraph that cited Novie Riyanto, the director general of air transportation of the Ministry of Transportation.
Indonesia’s search agency picked up some debris in the Java Sea and was trying to confirm if it belongs to the Sriwijaya Air flight, said Bambang Suryo Aji, the group’s deputy for operations, Bloomberg reported.
Indonesia’s military said it was conducting a search-and-rescue mission.
Sriwijaya Air said it was investigating the matter and would release an official statement when it has more details.
A Boeing spokeswoman said the company was aware of media reports from Jakarta and was “closely monitoring the situation.”
“We are working to gather more information,” Boeing spokeswoman Zoe Leong said in a statement.
FlightRadar24, a website that monitors aircraft movements, tracked the plane plunging to 250 feet from 10,900 feet, Bloomberg reported.
The crash comes just days after jetmaker Boeing agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine over fraud and conspiracy charges linked to its 737 MAX jet program.
The settlement involves a criminal penalty of $243.6 million, based on the conduct of two former MAX program technical pilots, and the establishment of a $500 million fund to provide compensation for families of the victims of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the company said.
Boeing said the deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, which it entered into on Thursday, will impact the company’s fourth-quarter earnings by $743.5 million.
“I firmly believe that entering into this resolution is the right thing for us to do – a step that appropriately acknowledges how we fell short of our values and expectations,” said CEO Dave Calhoun. “This resolution is a serious reminder to all of us of how critical our obligation of transparency to regulators is, and the consequences that our company can face if any one of us falls short of those expectations.”
Boeing’s 737 MAX was approved to fly again by the Federal Aviation Administration in November.
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