An Indonesian Lion Air plane crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from the capital Jakarta this morning, an aviation authority official said, adding that a search and rescue operation is underway.
“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” said Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.
The Lion Air flight was going to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra. The plane lost contact with the air-traffic controller at 6:33 am, 13 minutes after taking off, the airport authorities said.
The jet was a Boeing 737 Max 8 model, according to air-tracking service Flightradar 24.
It was not immediately clear how many people were on board.
“We cannot give any comment at this moment,” said Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air Group. “We are trying to collect all the information and data.”
We’re following reports that contact has been lost with Lion Air flight #JT610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
– Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 29, 2018
The Flightradar website tracked the plane, showing it looping south on take-off and then heading north before the flight path ended abruptly over the Java Sea, not far from the coast.
“We are downloading and processing… data that was transmitted by the aircraft, but preliminary data show an increase in speed and decrease in altitude at last transmission,” Flightradar 24 tweeted.
With inputs from agencies