The Lion Air Flight 610 crash is the worst airliner accident of 2018


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Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday morning. All 189 people on board are feared dead, though rescue and recovery efforts are underway.

The plane was a brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 that was delivered to the airline in August. The Max, which entered service last year, is the latest version of Boeing’s hot-selling 737 passenger jet.

Flight 610 is also the first fatal incident involving the Boeing 737 Max and the deadliest crash in civil aviation so far this year.

The most serious crash so far this year was in April, when an Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane operated by the Algerian air force with army personnel and their families on board crashed, killing all 257 passengers and crew members on board. But it is not considered a civilian incident.

Before Flight 610, the most serious civilian aviation incident of the year was when Cubana Airlines Flight 972 crashed on takeoff at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, in May. Of the 113 passengers and crew members on board the aging Boeing 737-200, 112 died.

In February, Saratov Airlines Flight 703 crashed minutes after takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport. All 71 passengers and crew members on board the Ukrainian-built Antonov An-148 died in the crash.

A week later, Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704, an ATR 72 turboprop regional airliner, crashed into Mount Dena in Iran. All 66 passengers and crew members died.

In March, US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211, a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 turboprop, crashed while landing in Kathmandu, Nepal. Of the 71 passengers and crew members, 51 died.

The deadliest incident involving a US airline occurred in April when Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was forced to make an emergency landing after shrapnel from an uncontained engine failure punched the fuselage and caused a window to break open, nearly sucking a passenger out of the plane. The passenger, Jennifer Riordan, died from her injuries.

Despite these incidents, 2018 has been a relatively good year for civil aviation, especially considering that more than 4.1 billion people around the world are expected to fly during the year.

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