JAKARTA – A Lion Air Boeing 737 passenger plane has come down after taking off from Jakarta, say Indonesian officials.
Flight JT-610 was on a scheduled flight from the Indonesian capital to Pangkal Pinang, the main city in the Bangka Belitung Islands.
It lost contact with ground control a few minutes after take-off, as it was crossing the sea.
It was not immediately clear how many people were on board the plane, believed to be a Boeing 737.
Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the national search and rescue agency told reporters: “It has been confirmed that it has crashed.”
Lion Air is a budget airline based in Indonesia. An airline official earlier told the BBC they did not yet know what had happened to the plane.
Chief executive Edward Sirait told Reuters: “We cannot give any comment at this moment. We are trying to collect all the information and data.”
Flight JT-610 took off from Jakarta at 06:20 local time on Monday morning (23:30 GMT on Sunday). After a short flight, it was due to arrive in Pangkal Pinang an hour later.
The aircraft was reported to be a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a model only in use since 2016.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago, is heavily reliant on air travel, but many of its airlines have a poor safety record. -BBC