All Aboard Rescued After Plane Skids Into Water at Bali Airport

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

HONG KONG -- A plane with more than 100 people onboard skidded off the runway and cracked in two while trying to land on the resort island of Bali on Saturday, and officials said rescuers pulled all passengers and crew members to safety from the jet after it came to rest in shallow waters.

The Lion Air plane was landing at Ngurah Rai airport in Bali when it overshot the runway and skidded into the water. Bali's police chief, Arif Wahyunadi, told Indonesian television that the plane originated in the city of Bandung, the capital of West Java Province in Indonesia. A police photo showed the jet lying in the water cut in half, with a huge crack in its fuselage.

A spokesman for the airline, Edward Sirait, told reporters that 101 passengers and 7 crew members were onboard. Earlier reports had put the number on board at 172.

Mr. Wahyunadi said the passengers and crew members were taken to the airport terminal for treatment. Reports on the number of injured varied, with Reuters saying that at least 16 people were taken to hospitals for injuries and shock, and The Associated Press saying up to 45 were injured.

"There was no sign at all it would fall but then suddenly it dropped into the water," one passenger, Tantri Widiastuti, 60, told Indonesian TV. "I saw holes in the floor of the plane. We were evacuated quickly."

Lion Air is on a list of carriers banned from operating in the European Union because of lax safety standards, and its planes have been in several accidents over the last decade, including a fatal crash in 2004.

Ngurah Rai, also known as Denpasar International Airport, is Indonesia's third-busiest international airport. Its runway is 9,842 feet long, and it juts into the Bali Strait, which separates Bali from Indonesia's main island, Java.

Lion Air is Indonesia's largest privately run airline. Its 72 destinations are mostly in Indonesia, and the furthest it flies is to Saudi Arabia -- a route frequented by domestic workers and construction laborers.

In the 2004 accident, a Lion Air jet crashed in Solo City, Indonesia, killing 25 people. And two years later, a Lion Air plane crashed at Juanda International Airport, also in Indonesia, but no one was killed.

The carrier has grown rapidly in recent years, trying to take advantage of the boom in jet travel in Asia, and just last month it reached a deal to buy 234 jets from Airbus. But some critics say such rapid growth of Asian carriers has come at the expense of air safety in the region.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here