Plane overshoots runway in Bali, ends up in sea
(CNN) — A Lion Air flight carrying about 100 people overshot a runway while landing at Bali International Airport on Saturday and ended up in water, officials said.
Only one person so far is confirmed as having suffered injuries, Lion Air spokesman Edward Sirait told a news conference in Jakarta.
He said 18 people had been taken to the hospital to be checked over, fewer than Indonesian officials initially indicated.
The others are still being examined by doctors, Sirait said.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800, has only been in use by Lion Air since March, he said.
Sirait said the plane is a new one and that the pilot was fit to fly. Lion Air crew can fly a maximum of eight hours per day, he said.
He said the plane had flown earlier in the day from Palu, Central Sulawesi, to Banjarmasin, Kalimantan. It then proceeded to Bandung and then Bali.
It’s not clear whether the same pilot was flying the aircraft the entire time.
Doug Sovern, of KCBS Radio in San Francisco, was at the airport when the incident happened.
He described seeing the plane, with a big crack splitting the fuselage in two, off the end of the runway in the Indian Ocean.
“Amazingly they were able to get everyone out of the plane,” he told KCBS Radio, adding that he didn’t see any rescue chutes.
“We saw a lot of fire engines and ambulances. We were told there were some minor injuries,” he said.
The plane appeared to be more than 100 feet out into the ocean, he said, but it wasn’t too far for people to get back to land. The fuselage now seems to be sinking into the water, he said.
At first people feared the worst, he added, but it now seems the passengers and crew have had a fairly miraculous escape — with shades of the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
In that 2009 incident, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River after his Airbus A320 collided with a flock of geese and lost thrust 2,700 feet over Manhattan. Everyone was rescued.
Indonesian Transportation Minister E.E. Mangindaan earlier said about 100 people were on board the aircraft.
He said everyone survived, but about 50 passengers were hospitalized.
Mangindaan said he did not know the conditions of those taken to the hospital.
In late 2011, Boeing made its largest single aviation sale — 230 planes totaling $21.7 billion — to Lion Air, a domestic airline virtually unknown outside of the archipelago nation of 6,000 inhabited islands.