Update: Missing Boeing 737 with over 60 people on board crashes into the sea

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Wreckage thought to be from the plane was found along with scraps clothing

An aircraft carrying than 60 people has crashed into the sea Indonesia, officials have said. The Boeing 737-500, which belonged to the Sriwijaya Air airline, lost contact with an airport control tower shortly after taking at 2.36pm local time.

Pictures on social media claimed to show that the plane – carrying 56 passengers and six crew – had landes in the sea. Three babies were said to be on board.

The crash was said to have taken place around Lancang Island in the Thousand Islands. Novie Riyanto, the Director Air Transportation the Transportation, was quoted on local media as saying that officials had lost contact with the plane and were trying to establish what had happened.

The plane – flight SJ182 – was travelling from Jakarta to Pontianak.

The aviation tracking website Flightradar24, showed the aircraft plummeting from 8,000ft to 252ft at 33,000 feet per minute:

“Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost than 10.000 feet altitude in less than minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta.”

A search and rescue ship has now been despatched to the area. The Thousand Islands are a chain of islands to of Jakarta’ coast.

Indonesia, the world’ largest archipelago nation, with than 260 people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced standards.

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking from Jakarta, all 189 people on board. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, 162 people.

The aircraft involved in the latest crash is a 27-year-old Boeing 737-500.

Sriwijaya Air is of Indonesia’ discount carriers, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations.

A local government official told Kompas TV that fishermen found what appeared to be the wreckage of an aircraft in waters north of Jakarta and a search was underway. Other channels showed pictures of suspected wreckage. Body parts were also said to have been found.

“We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water,” a official, told CNNIndonesia.com

Television footage showed relatives and friends of people aboard the plane weeping, praying and hugging each other as they waited at Jakarta’s airport and Pontianak’s airport.

News Express