An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 62 people is believed to have crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.
The Pontianak in West Kalimantan province bound Sriwijaya Air disappeared from radars four minutes into its journey, BBC reports.
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According to a flight tracking website, Flightradar24.com, the air plane was thought to have dropped more than 3,000m (10,000ft) in less than a minute.
Witnesses testified to hearing and seeing ‘at least one explosion’.
An eyewitness, Fisherman Solihin, told the BBC Indonesian service that it was upon witnessing the crash his captain decided to return to land.
“The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water,” he said.
He added that the crash was pretty close to them, as ‘shards of a kind of plywood almost hit their ship’.
Residents of an island close to the place where the plane disappeared told our source that ‘they had found objects they thought were from the plane’.
Transport Ministry Speaks
The transport ministry said search and rescue efforts were underway.
According to the ministry, Indonesian navy has been deployed to search for the aircraft.
A navy official, Abdul Rasyid, told Reuters news agency it had determined the plane’s coordinates and ships had been deployed to the location.
Last contact with the plane
According to the transport ministry, the last contact with the plane, with the call sign SJY182, was made at 14:40 local time (07:40 GMT).
The usual flight time to Pontianak, in the west of the island of Borneo, is 90 minutes.
The head of national search and rescue agency, Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito, said that the plane did not send a distress signal.
Even though the plane has a capacity of 130, there were thought to be 50 passengers, including seven children and three babies and 12 crew on board
Relatives of the passengers have been waiting anxiously at the airport in Pontianak.
Yaman Zai who has his wife and three children on the flight said, “[My wife] sent me a picture of the baby today… How could my heart not be torn into pieces?”