A Lion Air Boeing 737 passenger plane with 188 people on board has come down after taking off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Indonesian plane with 188 onboard crashes into the sea after taking off from jakater

Flight JT-610 was on a scheduled flight to Pangkal Pinang, the main city in the Bangka Belitung Islands.
It lost contact with ground control a few minutes after take-off, and was last tracked crossing the sea – it is unclear if there are any survivors.

 The plane was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a brand new type of aircraft. 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.

 At a news conference, officials said it had been carrying 178 adults, one infant and two babies, as well as two pilots and five cabin crew.

 The head of Indonesia’s disaster agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, has tweeted images which he said showed debris and personal belongings that came from the aircraft.

 He also shared a video he said had been taken from a tugboat off Karawang, just east of Jakarta, which appeared to show debris floating in the water.

 Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the national search and rescue agency, told reporters: “It has been confirmed that it has crashed.”

 Airline Chief executive Edward Sirait earlier told Reuters: “We cannot give any comment at this moment.

We are trying to collect all the information and data.”

 The aircraft was reported to be a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a model only in use since 2016.

Flight tracking website Flightradar24 said the aircraft had only been delivered to Lion Air in August.

 Aviation consultant Gerry Soejatman told the BBC the MAX 8 had been experiencing problems since it was introduced, including problems maintaining a level flight.

 Indonesia, a vast archipelago, is heavily reliant on air travel, but many of its airlines have a poor safety record.

 Lion Air is a budget airline based in the country. In 2013, Lion Air flight 904 crashed into the sea on landing at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

All 108 people on board survived.

 In 2004, a Lion Air flight 538 from Jakarta crashed and broke up on landing at Solo City, killing 25 people.

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