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A passenger plane carrying 188 people has crashed into the ocean after taking off from Jakarta in Indonesia.
Indonesia’s Lion Air said it lost contact with Flight JT610, which was scheduled to travel from the capital to Pangkal Pinang, a city on an island off the coast of Sumatra.
“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the agency, said.
Lion Air flight JT610: what we know so far
- Flight JT610, with 188 passengers, including crew on board, crashed in the sea off Indonesia at 6.30am local time. The plane was flying from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia.
- Authorities have confirmed 178 adults, two babies, one child, two pilots and five flight attendants were on the plane. It is not known if there are any survivors.
Relatives of the passengers aboard the Lion Air flight JT610, gather at Pangkal Pinang airport. (AAP)- The head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency said debris has been found in Karawang Bay, which has a reported depth of 30 metres.
Indonesia's disaster agency confirmed a Lion Air passenger jet crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta and was carrying 188 passengers and crew.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted photos on Twitter of debris including a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.
Relatives of the passengers aboard the Lion Air flight JT610, gather at Pangkal Pinang airport. (AAP)
He said the flight was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and seven crew members.
Indonesian TV has broadcast pictures of a fuel slick and debris field.
The plane disappeared 13 minutes after take-off and a search and rescue operation has been launched, The Straits Times reports.
File image of a Lion Air plane. (AAP)The 737 aircraft took off at 7.10am local time and was due to arrive 70 minutes later.
According to Flight Radar, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was delivered to Lion Air in August.
The Jakarta Post reports a tugboat crew reported seeing a downed plane in Karawang, West Java.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement: “The Australian Embassy in Jakarta is making urgent enquiries with local authorities to determine if any Australians were affected.”
In 2013, one of Lion Air's Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without any fatalities. (AAP)Aircraft maker, Boeing, tweeted: “Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation.”
More to come …
LION AIR: IN PROFILE
- Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia's biggest budget carrier and operates more than 650 daily flights across domestic and international routes.
- Lion Air has a fleet of 115 planes, primarily Boeing 737s of varying age. At the 2017 Paris Air Show the carrier placed an $8.7bn order for 50 737 Max 10 passenger jets, making the airline Boeing's second largest customer.
- The airline has had a chequered safety record, with various plane crashes. In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board.
This article first appeared on www.9news.com.au
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