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Indonesia Passenger Plane Missing Minutes After Take-off

Middle East & Asia News

Indonesia Sriwijaya Air, passenger plane with more than 50 people onboard has gone missing shortly after take-off from the Indonesian capital Jakarta and flew over the Java Sea. The Boeing 737 was reported to have lost contact en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province, and according to Flight tracking website, the aircraft had lost more than 3,000m (10,000ft) in altitude in less than a minute.

In response to the missing plane, Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry disclosed on Saturday that it had lost contact with a passenger jet after it took off from the capital, Jakarta, and flew over the Java Sea. The ministry said that the last contact with the plane, Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, was made at 2:40 p.m. local time. The Boeing 737-524 was bound for the city of Pontianak on the island of Borneo. More than 50 people were believed to be aboard.

Four minutes after taking off amid heavy rain, the 26-year-old plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than 60 seconds, according to Flightradar24, the flight-tracking service. Officials of Sriwijaya Air which is not a 737 Max said in a preliminary statement that “management is still communicating and investigating this matter and will immediately issue an official statement after obtaining the actual information.”

The aviation sector in Indonesia, a developing country of thousands of islands, has long been plagued by trouble, contending with poor safety records and the rapid growth of budget airlines. The country's aviation sector in October 2018 lost about 189 people after an Indonesian Lion Air flight plunged into the sea 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta.