October 29, 2018 / 4:59 AM / 21 days ago

Indonesia says crashed plane sought return to base before losing contact

Workers of PT Pertamina examine recovered debris of what is believed from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, onboard Prabu ship owned by PT Pertamina, off the shore of Karawang regency, West Java province, Indonesia, October 29, 2018. Antara Foto/PT Pertamina/Handout via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An aircraft with 189 aboard that crashed into the sea off Indonesia’s island of Java on Monday requested to return to base shortly before losing contact, said Yohanes Sirait, a spokesman for the country’s air navigation authorities.

“The (traffic) control allowed that, but then it lost contact,” Sirait added.

The Lion Air aircraft, which lost contact 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, the capital, is believed to have sunk after crashing.

In a statement, Lion Air Group said the plane was airworthy.

Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo

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