Ng Huiwen

A Lion Air plane carrying 145 passengers was forced to abort its take-off from Indonesia’s Bengkulu city on Wednesday night (Nov 7), after its left wing crashed into a pole. 

Flight JT633 was due to depart Fatmawati airport in south-western Sumatra for Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 6.20pm.

Local media outlets reported that the left wing of the aircraft hit a pole in front of the airport’s VIP building as it was moving off.

The plane was forced to return to the departure terminal, and passengers were placed on another aircraft that left for Jakarta at about 10.10pm, reported CNN Indonesia.

Facebook user Irsan Hidayat shared photos of the incident, showing a fragment dislodged from the wing of the aircraft.

Several people were seen on the tarmac with their belongings.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport said on Thursday that it would be investigating the cause of the incident and taking follow-up measures.

The aircraft and pilots have been grounded while investigations are ongoing.

The incident had also resulted in flight delays for other airlines, including Batik Air.

Batik Air passenger Romidi Karnawan told CNN Indonesia that his flight to Jakarta, which was scheduled to take off at around 6pm, was delayed for about an hour.

Wednesday night’s incident involving Indonesian low- cost airline Lion Air comes as the authorities extend search efforts till Saturday for victims’ bodies and a second black box from the downed Flight JT610.

The plane plummeted into the Java Sea on Oct 29 en route to Pangkal Pinang from Jakarta, killing all 189 aboard.

This is the second time that the evacuation operation, which was initially supposed to end on Nov 4, has been extended.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/lion-air-plane-aborts-take-off-after-it-crashes-into-pole-on-runway-damages-wing