Indonesia’s transport minister has confirmed that a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet carrying more than 60 people on board crashed into Jakarta Bay.
The plane was travelling from Indonesian capital Jakarta to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province and lost contact shortly after taking off on Saturday.
Transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi said the jet crashed near an island in the bay. He told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard, including 12 crew. Local media is reporting that 56 passengers and six crew were on the aircraft.
Jakarta Provincial Fire and Rescue Service announced on its Twitter account that searchers found debris in Jakarta Bay as they search for the missing plane.
The head of Indonesia’s Basarnas search and rescue agency, Bagus Puruhito, said teams had been dispatched to search the waters north of Jakarta but no radio beacon signal had been detected.
Flightradar24 said that Flight SJ182 “lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta”.
Sriwijaya Air said in a statement it is still gathering more detailed information regarding the flight before it can make any statement.
FlightRadar24 data indicates the plane was a Boeing 737-500 series which was 27 years old. Pontianak is a city on the island of Borneo, part of the Indonesian archipelago. (rt.com)