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Bali, Indonesia - Miraculously, All 108 On Board Survive Indonesian Plane Crash Into Ocean

Published on: April 13, 2013 10:01 PM
By: AP
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 A handout picture provided by the Indonesian Search And Rescue Agency (SAR) shows rescue teams working at the Lion Air plane after it crashed into the water as it overshot the runway at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia, 13 April 2013. EPA/SAR/HO A handout picture provided by the Indonesian Search And Rescue Agency (SAR) shows rescue teams working at the Lion Air plane after it crashed into the water as it overshot the runway at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia, 13 April 2013. EPA/SAR/HO

Bali, Indonesia - All 108 passengers and crew survived after a new Lion Air jet crashed into the ocean and snapped into two while attempting to land Saturday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, injuring up to 45 people.

The injured were taken to several different hospitals for treatment, but there appeared to be no serious injuries, said airport spokesman Alfasyah, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. There were three foreigners on board — two Singaporeans and a French national — all of whom suffered slight injuries.

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TV footage showed police and rescuers using rubber boats to evacuate the 101 passengers and seven crew members. The Boeing 737 could be seen sitting in the shallow water with a large crack in its fuselage.

Officials initially said the plane overshot the runway before hitting the water, but a spokesman for Lion Air, a low-cost carrier, said at a news conference that the plane crashed about 50 meters (164 feet) ahead of the runway. The weather was cloudy with rain at the time of the incident.

“It apparently failed to reach the runway and fell into the sea,” said the spokesman, Edward Sirait.

He said the Boeing 737-800 Next Generation plane was received by the airline last month and was declared airworthy. The plane originated in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, and had landed in two other cities on Saturday prior to the crash.

“We are not in a capacity to announce the cause of the crash,” Sirait said, adding that the National Safety Transportation Committee was investigating.

In this photo released by Indonesian Police, a rescue worker stands at the doorway of a crashed Lion Air plane on the water near the airport in Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/Indonesian Police)In this photo released by Indonesian Police, a rescue worker stands at the doorway of a crashed Lion Air plane on the water near the airport in Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/Indonesian Police)

Those on board recalled being terrified as the plane slammed into the water Saturday afternoon.

“The aircraft was in landing position when suddenly I saw it getting closer to the sea, and finally it hit the water,” Dewi, a passenger who sustained head wounds in the crash and uses one name, told The Associated Press.

“All of the passengers were screaming in panic in fear they would drown. I left behind my belongings and went to an emergency door,” she said. “I got out of the plane and swam before rescuers jumped in to help me.”

Rapidly expanding Lion Air is Indonesia’s top discount carrier, holding about a 50 percent market share in the country, a sprawling archipelago of 240 million people that’s seeing a boom in both economic growth and air travel. The airline has been involved in six accidents since 2002, four of them involving Boeing 737s and one resulting in 25 deaths, according to the Aviation Safety Network’s website.

Wreckage a crashed of Lion Air Plane seen on the water off Ngurah Rai international airport, Kuta Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Lion Air plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/STR)Wreckage a crashed of Lion Air Plane seen on the water off Ngurah Rai international airport, Kuta Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Lion Air plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/STR)

Lion Air is currently banned from flying to Europe due to broader safety lapses in the Indonesian airline industry that have long plagued the country. Last year, a Sukhoi Superjet-100 slammed into a volcano during a demonstration flight, killing all 45 people on board.

Indonesia is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but is struggling to provide qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and updated airport technology to ensure safety.

Lion Air, which started flying in 2000, signed a $24 billion deal last month to buy 234 Airbus planes, the biggest order ever for the French aircraft maker. It also gave Boeing its largest-ever order when it finalized a deal for 230 planes last year. The planes will be delivered from 2014 to 2026.

Wreckage a crashed of Lion Air Plane seen on the water off Ngurah Rai international airport, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Lion Air plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/Handout Indonesian Police)Wreckage a crashed of Lion Air Plane seen on the water off Ngurah Rai international airport, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Lion Air plane carrying more than 100 passengers and crew overshot a runway on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday and crashed into the sea, injuring nearly two dozen people, officials said. (AP Photo/Handout Indonesian Police)

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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM Bigboy Says:

Sounds like out of a fairy tale. Amazing that no one was hurt!

2

 Apr 14, 2013 at 07:04 AM shlomozalman Says:

Wow, what a miracle. I'll bet they are all beis yaakov girls. How else to explain it?

3

 Apr 14, 2013 at 09:30 AM Ex-Pilot Says:

There have only been a handful of commercial aircraft accidents, whereby a plane landed in water,and everyone on board survived, including Capt. Sullenberger's flight in 2009, a Russian airliner which landed in a river near Moscow in 1963, and a Pan Am flight, which landed in the Pacific, in 1956.

4

 Apr 14, 2013 at 09:32 AM Aron1 Says:

Let's put it into perspective: the plane rolled into what appears to be about 4 feet of water. While not something anyone would want, it's not your traditional "crashing into the ocean".

5

 Apr 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM Ex-Pilot Says:

To #4-Aron1- Don't try to minimize what that Lion Air pilot accomplished. It was cloudy and rainy while he was landing, which are not optimal landing conditions. I know from personal experience that the last few seconds of any landing, even with the best weather conditions, can be the most hazardous, because of cross winds, bird strikes, and other hazardous conditions in the area. My hat goes off to that pilot, since there were no fatalities, and no serious injuries. I don't care if the water was not that deep; he still managed to save over 100 lives!

6

 Apr 15, 2013 at 01:37 PM MarktMan Says:

Reply to #5  
Ex-Pilot Says:

To #4-Aron1- Don't try to minimize what that Lion Air pilot accomplished. It was cloudy and rainy while he was landing, which are not optimal landing conditions. I know from personal experience that the last few seconds of any landing, even with the best weather conditions, can be the most hazardous, because of cross winds, bird strikes, and other hazardous conditions in the area. My hat goes off to that pilot, since there were no fatalities, and no serious injuries. I don't care if the water was not that deep; he still managed to save over 100 lives!

I don't think this LionAir pilot deserves to be commended for overshooting the runway! He didn't save anyone, his incompetence almost killed them all!

7

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