A Sriwijaya Air’s Boeing 737-500 Indonesian plane crashed into the sea on Saturday minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.
The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain.
At the time of take-off, 62 passengers and crew were listed on an unconfirmed manifest, including seven children and three infants, local media reported.
The expected flight time is about 90 minutes over the Java Sea between Indonesia’s main Java island and Kalimantan, the country’s section of Borneo island.
Data from FlightRadar24 said the plane reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres) before dropping to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control.
“Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta,” the tracking agency said on its official Twitter account.
Kompas TV quoted local fishermen as saying they had found debris near islands just off the coast of the capital Jakarta, but it could not be immediately confirmed as having belonged to the missing jet.
Indonesia’s transport ministry said it was probing the incident.
“A Sriwijaya (Air) plane from Jakarta to Pontianak (on Borneo island) with call sign SJY182 has lost contact,” said ministry spokesman Adita Irawati.
“It last made contact at 2:40 pm (0740 GMT).”
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency and the National Transportation Safety Commission were also investigating, Irawati said.