Jakarta, January 9
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.
Rescuers looking for the plane found suspected debris in waters north of the city, an official of the Basarnas search and rescue agency said.
Agus Haryono told Reuters it had not been confirmed that the debris came from Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182.
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.
As the night fell, an official from the rescue agency said some suspected debris had been found off Jakarta. It is still unknown if there are any survivors.
A plane flying from Jakarta to Pontianak would spend most of the flight over the Java Sea.
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. — Agencies