Sriwijaya Air fligth SJ182 is believed to have crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Indonesia's capital Jakarta. The Boeing 737-500 plane disappeared from radars 4 minutes into its journey to Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
Debris found by fisherman north of Jakarta is being examined to see if it's from the plane carrying 62 people, including seven children and three babies and 12 crew on board. All the passengers and crew was Indonesian.
Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said SJ182 was delayed for an hour before it took off at 2.36pm from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The flight with registration number PK-CLC disappeared from radar 4 minutes later, after the pilot contacted air traffic control to ascend to an altitude of 29,000 feet (8,839 meters).
Budi Karya said a dozen vessels, including four warships, were deployed in a search-and-rescue (SAR) operation centred between Lancang island and Laki island, part of the Thousand Islands chain just north of Jakarta.
Tracking service Flightradar24 said on its Twitter feed that Flight SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) of altitude in less than a minute, about 4 minutes after take-off.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B) signal from SJ182 was lost at 07:40:27 UTC time (14:40 local time). The usual flight time to Pontianak, in the west of the island of Borneo, is 90 minutes.
First flight for this aircraft was in May 1994 (26 years old). It was in good condition, Sriwijaya Air chief executive Jefferson Irwin Jauwena told reporters. Take-off had been delayed for 30 minutes due to heavy rain, he said.
Founded in 2003, Sriwijaya Air is a local budget airline which flies to Indonesian and other South-East Asian destinations. (hlz/hlz)