An Indonesian plane, Lion Air Boeing 737 carrying 188 passengers and crew reportedly crashed into the ocean shortly after take-off from Jakarta.
The search and rescue agency told AFP;
“The plane crashed into the water about 30 to 40 metres deep,” Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Yusuf Latif said. “We’re still searching for the remains of the plane.”
It was gathered that the Indonesian plane was heading to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra, when it lost contact with air traffic control around 6.30 am (2330 GMT), 13 minutes after takeoff.
“The plane had requested to return to base before finally disappearing from the radar,” Sindu Rahayu, directorate general of Civil Aviation at the transport ministry, said.
The Lion Air which was a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8, had181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and eight crew members. So far, debris including a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been gathered by search and rescue vessels have been recovered.
An official of Indonesia’s safety transport committee said the cause of the crash would not be known until the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and data flight recorder were recovered.
“We will collect all data from the control tower,” Soerjanto Tjahjono said. “The plane is so modern, it transmits data from the plane and that we will review too. But the most important is the blackbox.”