A Boeing 737 passenger jet with 62 people onboard has disappeared over the sea after plummeting 10,000 feet shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, reports claim.
The Sriwijaya Air plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta international airport on Saturday afternoon when it lost contact with the control room.
The usual flight time is about 90 minutes over the Java Sea between Jakarta and Kalimantan, Indonesia’s section of Borneo island.
But four minutes after it took off, the Boeing B737-500 plane plunged nearly 11,000 feet in less than 60 seconds, leaving it at an altitude of 250 feet before vanishing.
There are feared to be 62 people on the 26-year-old plane, including 56 passengers – seven of whom are children and three are babies – as well as two pilots and four cabin crew.
And families are now fearing the worse after rescuers looking for flight SJ182 say they have discovered suspected debris in the ocean north of the capital.
The missing plane is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX jet involved in two earlier fatal crashes – including the Indonesian Lion Air crash in 2018 which killed 189.
A Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 passenger jet carrying 62 people has disappeared over the sea after plummeting 10,000 feet shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, reports claim. Pictured: Some suspected debris from the plane found by fisherman
Families of the passengers and crew are fearing the worse after rescuers looking for the jet say they have discovered suspected debris in the ocean north of the capital.
The plane – believed to be a Boeing B737-500 – is understood to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds just four minutes after it took off
Terrified relatives of the 62 people onboard the missing Sriwijaya Air flight wait for news at the Supadio airport in Pontianak – where the plane was expected to land
Indonesian soldiers are seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the Sriwijaya Air plane vanished over the ocean
Airport officials installed barriers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 went missing
A spokesperson for Boeing said: ‘We are aware of media reports from Jakarta, and are closely monitoring the situation. We are working to gather more information.’
Indonesian airline Sriwijaya Air said is still is still getting more information before issuing a statement.
Indonesia’s transport ministry said on Saturday: ‘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).’
There are feared to be 62 people on the 26-year-old plane, including 56 passengers – seven of whom are children and three are babies – as well as two pilots and four cabin crew. Pictured: Soldiers in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the plane lost contact
The Sriwijaya Air plane (file image of a similar plane) took off from the Indonesian capital on Saturday and was heading to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province when it lost contact with the control room, according to local media reports
The budget airline said only it was investigating the incident.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency and the National Transportation Safety Commission were also investigating, Irawati said.
In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight.
That crash – and a subsequent fatal flight in Ethiopia – saw Boeing hit with $2.5 billion in fines over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model, which was grounded worldwide following the two deadly crashes.
The reported disappearance comes just over two years after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the sea after taking off in Indonesia. Lion Air’s flight JT-610 (stock photo) lost contact with air control in October 2018
The crash (wreckage pictured) left all 189 people onboard dead and has been blamed on a combination of aircraft design flaws, inadequate training and maintenance problems