A Boeing 737 passenger aircraft is believed to crash into the sea after disappearing from radar and falling 10,000 feet.
The Sriwijaya Air passenger jet lost contact after taking off from the Indonesian capital Jakarta on its way to Pontianak in West Kalimantan Province today.
There were more than 60 people on board – including 10 children.
The Indonesian Navy has announced that it has obtained the last known coordinates of the missing jet and ships are being dispatched to the area.
Navy officer Abdul Rasyid told reporters, “The coordinates have been found and communicated to all naval vessels in the area.”
Photos show rescue workers pulling debris out of the water in a desperate search for survivors.
An Indonesian rescue agency confirmed that alleged debris from the flight was found.
According to the agency, no radio signal was detected.
Thousand Island residents said they heard two explosions before finding objects in the sea.
The plane was reported to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than a minute, about four minutes after takeoff.
Surachman, a local government official, told Kompas TV that fishermen had found the wreck of an airplane in the waters north of Jakarta and that a search was ongoing.
Other channels showed images of suspected rubble.
“We found some cables, a piece of jeans and bits of metal on the water,” Zulkifli, a security officer, told CNNIndonesia.com.
The Indonesian Navy deployed 11 ships to search for the debris underwater.
The aircraft is not a 737 Max, the Boeing model that has been involved in two major crashes in recent years.
According to AirLive.net, there were 62 people on board – 56 passengers, four crew members and two pilots.
Of the 56 passengers, 46 were adults, seven were children and three were infants. Their nationality was not disclosed.
The flight control service Flightradar24 tweeted: “Sriwijaya Air flight # SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than a minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta.”
Sriwijaya Air said in a statement that it is collecting more detailed information about the flight before it can issue a statement.
A Boeing spokeswoman said: “We are aware of media reports from Jakarta and are closely monitoring the situation. We are working on collecting more information.”
According to CNBC Indonesia, the flight disappeared at 2:40 p.m. local time, shortly after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport.
The last location of the aircraft was in the waters of the Java Sea above the province of Banten.
The Sriwijaya Air plane lost contact around Lancang Island, Thousand Islands, the branch communications and legal manager at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Haerul Anwar, said.
At the time of take-off for Pontianak, some 740 km away, it was raining at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
Video images from the airport showed images of the passengers’ relatives tearfully as they waited for news of the plane’s fate.
The spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Transport, Adita Irawati confirmed that contact with the Sriwijaya Air plane had been cut, reports CNBC Indonesia.
“We are currently under investigation and coordinated with Basarnas and the National Transportation Accident Committee (KNKT),” said Adita.
A Boeing 737 MAX of the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed off Jakarta in late 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew. The plane that lost contact today is a much older model.
Bagus Puruhito, head of the country’s Bazaar search and rescue agency, said teams had been sent to search the waters north of Jakarta.
The Indonesian Red Cross Society says it has 50 volunteers on standby to help with the recovery effort.
Sriwijaya Air is one of the leading Indonesian airlines. It carries over 1,000,000 passengers per month from its hub at Soekarno Hatta International Airport to more than 55 destinations in two regional countries, including exceptional and popular tourist destinations in Indonesia.