Indonesia jet carrying 62 people goes missing on domestic flight; Suspected debris found
Jakarta, Jan 09: A Sriwijaya Air passenger jet carrying 62 people lost contact with air traffic controllers after taking off from Indonesia's capital on Saturday on a domestic flight, officials said.
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said the Boeing 737-500 took off from Jakarta at about 1:56 pm and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40 pm.
A statement released by the airline said the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesias Borneo island. There were 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.
Irawati said in a statement that a search and rescue operation was underway in coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee.
A plane flying from Jakarta to Pontianak would spend most of the flight over the Java Sea. There was still no sign of the missing plane as night fell.
Agus Haryono, another official with the agency, told Reuters that debris suspected to be from the plane had been found in the sea, but it had not been confirmed that it came from the missing flight.
Reliable tracking service Flightradar24 said on its Twitter feed that Flight SJ182 "lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta".
Indonesia, the world''s largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.