The Lion Air Crash and Other Times When Planes Came Down

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The Lion Air Crash and Other Times When Planes Came Down

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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espite James Cameron’s best attempts to convince us otherwise in Titanic, plane crashes will always be the gold standard in blood-curdling transportation disasters. The morbid visual of a huge metal object plummeting from the sky commands a grim fascination, that’s triggered even further when the plane looks like it’s heading to crash into a crowded city.

It’s thrilling when we are watching this unfold on a screen with our 3D glasses on, but frightening when reel becomes real and a passenger aircraft crashes into the sea, like Lion Air flight in Indonesia did earlier today. The Lion Air flight was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a brand new type of aircraft, but that did not help as pilots lost control shortly after taking off from Jakarta airport. Of the 188 souls on board, it is unclear if there are any survivors. Like these other equally shocking aircraft accidents, its a grim reminder of what can happen when humankind’s restless innovation meets the cruel hands of fate.

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