Indonesian passenger plane crashes into ocean with 188 on board

Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang goes missing 13 minutes after take-off search underway

Pic for representational use only

An Indonesian Lion Air Boeing passenger plane carrying 188 people and flown by Indian captain Bhavye Suneja crashed into the Java Sea on Monday shortly after taking off from here, with authorities saying they have found no survivor.

Preliminary flight tracking data from the Flightradar website, which tracks air traffic in real time from all around the world, showed the aircraft climbed to around 5,000 feet before losing, and then regaining, height, before finally falling towards the sea.

On top of that, Basarnas (Indonesia's search and rescue agency) chief Muhammad Syaugi stated that body parts were also found among the debris floating in the water.

It was scheduled to land at Pangkal Pinang at 7.20am.

At a press conference held by the agency, officials reported that the plane was at an altitude of 3,000 meters when it lost contact.

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The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer's workhorse single-aisle jet.

Lion Air Group CEO Edward Sirait said that the plane had a technical problem on a previous flight, but that had been resolved.

"We can not give any comment at this moment".

A Boeing 737 passenger plane has crashed after taking off from Jakarta's global airport, with 188 people feared dead.

Reportedly, the last known coordinates of the flight were 5°49.727 south, 107°07.460 east. However, air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft at around 6:33 a.m.

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Lion Air acquired the plane in August 2018, all documents were valid until 2023, officials said.

The VP of a leading airline in India that operates the Boeing 737 told the daily that Suneja was considering returning to India.

Distressed relatives of passengers on board Lion Air JT610 met at the crisis centre in Jakarta's airport seeking more information about their loved ones.

Lion Air, a discount carrier, is one of Indonesia's youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and worldwide destinations. Indonesia's Ministry of Finance confirmed, in turn, that there were 20 government officials on board the aircraft. Several people were injured in the crash, although no one was killed.

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