Reports are coming in from Yogyakarta, Indonesia about the deaths of 22 people that have been killed in the crash of a passenger jet. The passenger jet is said to have burst into flames when it overshot the runway while landing. The plane was landing in Yogyakarta early Wednesday morning.
At the scene it has been reported by Reuters that many of the plane’s passenger were fleeing the flames by using the emergency exits and running into surrounding fields.
Reuters has quoted Garuda Airlines, the national carriers as saying “Following the evacuation process, we found that 112 passenger survived while 21 passengers died” Garuda Airlines is also quoted by Reuters as saying that “from the crew six people survived and one cabin crew member died”. This brings the death toll to 22.
An airline spokesperson, Pujobroto, has stated that the plane was a Boeing 737-400 that was carrying 133 passengers along with 7 crewmembers. Garuda is a state owned airline.
A survivor that spoke to Reuters has said that there was a warning saying to expect turbulence and that for the most part passengers remained calm.
On board the plane were a number of Australian diplomats, journalists and government officials. This group of Australians were travelling with the official Indonesia visit of Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. The Foreign Minister was not on the plane. According to Downer there were nine Australian officials onboard, but only five had been accounted for and four were still missing. According to Downer and Australia’s Prime minister they have received no information to suggest this was an act of terrorism.
According to the BBC the president of Indonesia was quick to react ordering an immediate investigation into the crash. Also according to the BBC this accident will not help the current spotlight being shone on Indonesia’s safety record, which has been causing headlines with a number of recent accidents including another passenger jet that went missing.
There are reports by passengers that the plane was shaking violently as it was about to land. It has also been reported by the Yogyakarta airport operations chief that prior to landing the plane’s front wheel had caught on fire. This caused the plane to swerve off of the runway.
Other reports include that of First Air Marshal Benyamin Dandel, air force commander, Yogyakarta. Dandel is quoted by the BBC saying “The plane was too fast or over-speeding, so it ran about 300 metres off the runway.”
This crash comes only after another disaster has hit Indonesia. Only two days ago Indonesia was hit by a earthquake where at least 70 people are reported to have been killed.