Jet collides with aircraft being towed in Indonesia, catches fire

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Story highlights

  • A Batik Air 737 jet was attempting to take off when it collided with a TransNusa aircraft
  • The smaller TransNusa plane was being towed by a tractor at the time
  • The 737 caught fire, and all passengers escaped, an official says

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)Aviation officials are investigating after a passenger plane attempting to take off from Indonesia's capital caught fire after colliding with another aircraft being towed by a tractor.

A Batik Air Boeing 737-800 had been cleared for takeoff from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar when it collided with the TransNusa ATR 42-600 plane Monday.
    The Batik Air pilot aborted takeoff but was unable to avoid the collision.
    Edward Sirait, director of Lion Air Group, which owns Batik Air, said the Boeing 737's wing caught fire, but firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.
    All 49 passengers on board disembarked without injury, but Sirait said three had to be treated at a hospital for shock. Seven crew members were also on board.

    Wing on fire

    The Batik Air plane had been on "rolling takeoff" when it hit the smaller TransNusa plane, Sirait said.
    Asked why plane had been allowed to take off, when there was another aircraft in its path, he said that needed to be investigated: "What is important is our pilot was given permission to take off."
    He declined to speculate on the cause of the collision, saying "we will wait for the report and the investigation."
    The plane's flight data recorder has been retrieved and will be analyzed by the National Transportation Safety Committee, Sirait said.
    The aircraft was being checked and repaired but would not be able to fly again, he said.