UPDATE1: Plane carrying 188 people crashes after take-off from Jakarta
JAKARTA, Kyodo - An Indonesian aircraft carrying 188 crew and passengers crashed into the sea on Monday morning after it lost contact shortly following take-off from Jakarta, Indonesian authorities said.
Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 bound for Pangkalpinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka, just off Sumatra Island, was carrying 178 adult passengers and three children as well as seven crew, according to the Transportation Ministry.
It is reportedly the worst air disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia Airbus A320-200 plane bound for Singapore crashed into the Java Sea in December 2014, killing all 162 people aboard.
The Lion Air plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 6:20 a.m. but contact with the aircraft was lost at 6:33 a.m., local media said.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted on Twitter images of what appeared to be wreckage and personal belongings recovered off West Java province. An image taken from a vessel showed an oil slick, likely from the crashed plane.
Lion Air is a Jakarta-based budget carrier founded in 1999. It started service the following year. It serves both domestic and overseas destinations.
Bangka Island is a tourist spot known for snorkeling and other marine activities. Pangkalpinang, the Lion Air flight's destination, is located about 450 kilometers north of the Indonesian capital Jakarta. (Kyodo)