Indonesia loses contact with passenger plane over the ocean
Jakarta, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- Indonesian aviation authorities on Saturday lost contact with a Sriwijaya airline commercial plane with 56 passengers on board minutes after it took off from Jakarta airport.
“Contact has been lost with a Sriwijaya plane during its route from Jakarta to Pontianak with call sign SJY 182. The last contact was at 14:40 (local time, 6:40 GMT) … We will provide more information as it comes in,” Adita Irawati, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Transport Ministry, said in a statement.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane, a Boeing 737-524, 13 minutes after it took off from Sukarno-Hatta International Airport in the Indonesian capital, bound for Pontianak, the capital of West Borneo, as it flew over the sea off the coast of Jakarta and after it quickly lost altitude.
The plane was carrying 56 passengers, including three babies and seven minors, and six crew members, according to the flight manifest, which Efe has seen.
For the time being, the Indonesian search and rescue agency, Basarna, has already sent a team to the area, according to local media Kompas.
Meanwhile, the governor of the Seribu Islands, close to the area where contact was lost with the aircraft, declared that local residents had heard an explosion at the same time, according to statements given to local online portal Detik.
Fishermen in the vicinity told local media that they had witnessed an explosion and found the possible debris of a plane crash floating in the sea. Authorities have yet to confirm the crash.
In images distributed by the local portal KompasTV, several fishermen who were at sea showed cables and other equipment that they had found in the vicinity of the place where the trail of the plane was lost. EFE-EPA