Indonesian plane carrying 62 passengers goes missing

A Sriwijaya Air plane carrying 62 people on board is feared to have crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta. This is according to Indonesia’s Head Of National Transportation Safety Committee, Suryanto Cahyono.

Sriwijaya Air flight 182 from Jakarta to Pontianak, in Indonesian Borneo, lost contact at 2:40 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (2:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday.

The flight 182 lost contact 11 nautical miles north of Jakarta’s Soekarno–Hatta International Airport at an altitude of 11,000 feet while climbing to 13,000 feet, officials said. The plane dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from the radar, according to the global flight tracking service Flightradar24. The drop happened about four minutes after takeoff, it said.

People wait for news on their relatives who are on board of Sriwijaya Air passenger jet that lost contact with air traffic controllers after take off, at Soepadio International Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.(AP Photo/Helmansyah)

The missing Indonesia plane was carrying 50 passengers- 43 adults and 7 children, as well as 12 crew members, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said during a press conference.

Maj. Gen Bambang Suryo Aji of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, Basarnas, told reporters on Saturday that the plane is believed to have crashed between the islands of Laki and Lancang, in the Thousand Islands chain northwest of the capital, Jakarta.

Basarnas is now conducting a search operation. The Indonesian Navy has deployed five warships and diving troops in the search, according to Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid.

Earlier on Saturday, a high-ranking Basarnas officer told reporters their officers on the ground had found debris around Lancang Island. The debris will be passed to the National Transportation Safety Committee to be investigated, he said, adding that is not confirmed if that debris belongs to the missing plane.