Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Worst Indonesian Plane Crash Since 1997 Rekindles Safety Concern

  • Lion Air jet plunged minutes after takeoff with 189 on board
  • Australia bans officials from flying with discount operator
Debris recovered from the crash site sits on the dockside at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta.
Debris recovered from the crash site sits on the dockside at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta.Photographer: Rony Zakaria/Bloomberg

Indonesia’s worst plane crash in two decades threatens to jeopardize the country’s fragile air-safety reputation just as the Southeast Asian nation has been regaining international credibility.

Lion Air flight 610 came down 13 minutes after departing Jakarta’s main airport for the popular tourist destination of Pangkalpinang, off the coast of Sumatra. All 189 people on board the Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 -- delivered to the discount specialist only in August -- are feared dead, threatening to produce the country’s highest death toll in an air disaster since 1997.