An Indonesian passenger plane collided with another aircraft as it was taking off from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta on Monday evening. Passengers and crew were evacuated, with no reports of casualties. The passenger plane belonging to Batik Air and Lion Air Group was en route from Jakarta to Ujung Pandang in East Sulawesi. A press release from the company said that the Batik Air plane had been cleared for take-off by airport controllers, but collided with a smaller TransNusa aircraft that was being towed by a tractor.
Both aircraft were severely damaged in the incident. One of the turbines of the TransNusa plane was destroyed and top of the tail cut off. A part of the left wing of the Batik Air jet was damaged as well. A total of 49 passengers and seven crew members were on board and all were evacuated via the plane’s emergency slide. “The Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport runway is temporarily closed,” said JA Barata, head of Public Communication for the Ministry of Transportation, as reported by the Republica News outlet.
There are also reports that the incident resulted in a fire on the runway, which is now being dealt with by fire crews. Pilot error during take-off could be the cause of the incident, according to the local “Detik”news portal. There were no reports of casualties in the incident, the airline’s press service added.
“We are waiting for the results of investigations from the relevant authorities,” said Edward Sirait, president of Lion Air Group.