Officials have lost contact with a Boeing 737 shortly after its take-off from the Indonesian capital, prompting fears for the 62 people onboard the domestic flight. Sriwijaya air flight SJ182- Boeing 737 loses contact in Indonesia
Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 departed Jakarta for Pontianak on the island of Borneo at 2.36pm (7.36am GMT), according to FlightRadar24 – a journey scheduled to take 95 minutes. The plane went missing after flying a short distance north of the airport somewhere above the Java Sea.
An Indonesian Transport Ministry spokesperson said it is investigating the plane’s disappearance with search and rescue agency Basarnas and the nation’s transport safety committee, KNKT.
At least 50 people searching into the night, Basarnas official says
With darkness having fallen in Java, rescue agency official Agus Haryono told Reuters that 50 people were taking part in the search and that they would keep working into the night.
Indonesia has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, ageing infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.
In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
It was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people were killed on a Garuda flight near Medan on Sumatra island, and was the first of two tragedies that led to the 20-month grounding of the Max.
In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people.
Breaking: ‘Suspected debris’ found in waters north of Jakarta, Basarnas says
Rescuers have 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
Search and rescue agency investigating disappearance
“The missing plane is currently under investigation and under coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee,” Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said in a statement.
Signal was lost four minutes after takeoff, flight tracker says
According to data from FlightRadar24, the plane lost contact just four minutes after take-off.
Here’s the full report on the missing flight from our travel correspondent Simon Calder.
He writes that Airfleets.net shows the missing plane as being delivered to Continental Airlines in the US in May 1994. It joined the Sriwijaya Air fleet in 2012.