Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has released its accident investigation record for 2021, which is dominated by maritime accidents.

According to the committee, the number of marine accidents investigated increased to 19 in 2021 from 12 in 2020, with fishing boat accidents accounting for most mishaps. The death toll from such accidents touched 342 during the year, it said.

In the last five years, KNKT said it has investigated eight marine accidents involving fishing boats and five others involving commercial vessel crashes.

“This is surely sad data, and even the fishing boat accidents have already reached the emergency status if I may say so,” the committee’s marine safety investigator, Renan Hafsar, remarked.

One of the most tragic fishing boat accidents occurred a couple of days after Eid Al Fitr, he informed adding, six of the nine people who died in the mishap were elementary school children. Initially, the accident was not being investigated by KNKT, he said.

However, the government, along with the regional administration, urged the committee to conduct an investigation, he added. The boat's name “Gako” was taken from a floating shop in the area as the boat helped the shop’s visitors cross Kebung Ombo reservoir in Central Java, Hafsar said. The shop had become popular since early in the pandemic, he noted.

On the day of the accident, the passengers crowded the boat’s bow, which sank deeper as the machine was turned off, allowing water to enter from the bow, he said.

The passengers panicked as the water filled up and some of them spontaneously stood up, causing the boat to capsize, he informed.

Another marine accident involved the sinking of the Yunicee ferry in the Bali Strait on June 29, 2021, he said.

A total of 41 passengers and 25 vehicles were on the ferry when it set sail from Ketapang port, East Java for Gilimanuk port, Bali at 5.27 p.m local time that day, he informed.

The cruise distance was approximately three nautical miles, which was expected to be covered in 45–55 minutes, he added.

After the Yunicee had sailed one nautical mile, it got caught in the current, and strong winds and big waves started to lash the ferry, he said.

At 6.10 p.m local time, the ferry tilted nearly 10 degrees and about five minutes later, it flipped over. Thirteen people went missing, nine died, and 50 people survived the accident.

Aviation Accidents

According to the KNKT, the second-highest accident investigations in 2021 were recorded in the aviation sector at 18, with half the cases categorized as serious accidents.

The biggest aviation accident involved a Boeing 737-500 aircraft, with registration number PK-CLC, which crashed on January 9, 2021, shortly after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang.

Flight number SJ-182, operated by Sriwijaya Air, serving the Jakarta-Pontianak route took off at approximately 2.40 p.m. and lost contact 11 nautical miles north of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after crossing an altitude of 11 thousand feet and while it was climbing to 13 thousand feet.

It is believed that the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 crashed in the waters between Laki Island and Lancang Island in Thousand Islands. None of the 56 passengers, two pilots, and four crew members survived the crash.

The investigation into the crash is still on. America’s National Transportation Board (NTSB), Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have been roped in for the investigation, KNKT informed.

The committee said it aims to complete the investigation by mid-2022. It also provided details on the types of aviation accidents recorded in 2021, including loss control on ground (one accident), undershoot/overshoot (one accident), system/component failure or malfunction with power plant (one accident), system/component failure or malfunction non-power plant (one accident), runway excursion (four accidents), loss of control inflight (three accidents), controlled flight into terrain (one accident), and abnormal runway control (one accident).

Sixty-six people died or went missing in aviation accidents while one person was injured in such accidents during 2021, it informed.

Railway and Road Accidents

This year, KNKT said, it investigated five railway accidents: two involved train crashes and three involved trains derailing or overturning.

A crash involving the Greater Jakarta light rail transit (LRT) trainsets during operational tests was the biggest railway accident in 2021, the committee informed.

Trainset (TS) 20 and trainset 29 crashed at kilometer 12+720 between Ciracas station and Harjamukti station, West Java, on 25 October 2021.

Both trainsets were undergoing the shunting process to clear Track 2 of Harjamukti station for further tests by the Railway Directorate General of the Transportation Ministry.

The testing and stabling process were conducted on the track since the train depot had not been built until then, the committee informed.

An investigation revealed that the analog speedometer stopped at 50 kilometers per hour and the technician of the TS 29 trainset was distracted by the mobile phone, so he failed to focus on the speed and the train's position.

Meanwhile, in road accidents, 502 accidents involving Transjakarta buses were recorded from January to October 2021, with 17 accidents, or the highest number, reported in January.

As many as 63 accidents involving Transjakarta happened in February. Meanwhile, 72 and 55 accidents were seen in March and April, respectively.

In May, the number of accidents fell to 54, 48 in June, 44 in July, 22 in August, 42 in September, and 27 in October, the committee said.

KNKT further said it also sent the Jakarta provincial-owned company some recommendations on the management of risk, bus fleet, bus drivers, and bus routes.

Regarding the risk management aspect, the committee said it advised the TransJakarta management to establish a new department in charge of risk management and safety assurance duties.

The committee also advised TransJakarta to enact adaptive standard operational procedures for bus crew competence and bus roadworthiness on account of the diverse bus types operated by TransJakarta, right from conventional buses to electric-powered ones.

In connection with bus route safety, KNKT advised the Greater Jakarta Transportation Authority to conduct route mapping of TransJakarta's routes, including those outside the dedicated lanes and toll roads.

The committee and the TransJakarta management have so far concluded mapping 13 TransJakarta bus routes.

Another major accident in 2021 involved the sinking of military submarine KRI Nanggala-402 in the waters off Bali.

The submarine lost contact in the waters north of Bali on April 21.

A joint search and rescue team worked incessantly, with the assistance of other countries, to locate the submarine.

On April 25, KRI Nanggala-402 was declared to have sunk at a depth of 838 meters. All 53 sailors on board were also declared dead.

Recently, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi spoke of his intention to improve transportation safety as well as to meet the zero-accident target by conducting campaigns, disseminating information on transportation safety, checking transportation infrastructures regularly, and intensifying coordination with other related boards.

“We are consistently committed to improving the transportation safety in pursuit of zero accident (target),” he remarked.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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