The suspected debris of a Boeing 737-500 Sriwijaya Air plane belonging to Indonesia, that lost contact after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on a domestic flight on Saturday has been found in the sea off the city, said the rescuers.
The flight had 62 people on board and was en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan. It had disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 pm (0730 GMT).
Budi Karya, the Indonesian Transport Minister, told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard, including 12 crew. Another official had said earlier there were 56 passengers and six crew members.
The head of the country’s search and rescue agency Basarnas, Bagus Puruhito, said that teams have been dispatched to search the waters north of Jakarta. No radio beacon signal had been detected, said Basarnas.
The debris suspected to be from the plane had been found in the sea, but it had not been confirmed that it came from the missing flight, said Agus Haryono, a Basarnas official, according to Reuters.
Tracking service Flightradar24 said is a tweet that Flight SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta.
Sriwijaya Air said in a statement that it was gathering more detailed information regarding the flight before it could make a fuller statement.
A Boeing spokeswoman said, “We are aware of media reports from Jakarta, and are closely monitoring the situation. We are working to gather more information”.
Indonesian television channels showed pictures of suspected wreckage.
“We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water,” Zulkifli, a security official, told CNNIndonesia.com.
Rescue official Agus said 50 people were taking part in the search and that they would search into the night.
(With agency inputs)