Indonesia's Lion Air has lost contact with airplane

Indonesia's Lion Air has lost contact with airplane

The flight took off from Jakarta around 6.20am (10.20am AEDT) and was due to have landed in Pangkal Pinang, capital of the Bangka-Belitung tin mining region, an hour later, the Flightradar 24 website showed.

The plane crashed into Karawang Bay, two nautical miles from where the plane lost contact with aircraft control. It is unclear if there are survivors. The disaster agency of Indonesia has released some images which shows the debris and belongings that were floating in the Java sea after the plane sank into it.

"We have forwarded the information to search and rescue teams", AirNav Indonesia Spokesman Yohanes Harry Douglas had said in a statement earlier today.

A passenger plane carrying 188 people has crashed into the sea off Jakarta.

Debris was also seen near an offshore oil refinery operated by state-owned energy firm Pertamina, an official from the firm said.

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A commercial plane which plummeted into the Java sea with nearly 200 people onboard was delivered brand new to budget airline Lion Air just weeks ago.

Three of those on board were trainee flight attendants and one was a technician.

As per Indonesia's finance ministry spokesman Nufransa Wira Sakti there were 20 officials on board the crashed Lion passenger jet. They routinely took this flight.

Lion Air has previously been on an European Union safety blacklist.

The agency's chief Muhammad Syaugi told a news conference that divers are trying to locate the wreckage.

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Lion Air, a low-priced carrier, is Indonesia's largest private airline.

"The plane crashed into water about 30 to 40 metres deep", said Search and Rescue Agency spokesperson Yusuf Latif.

Lion Air Group CEO Edward Sirait said that the plane had a technical problem on a previous flight, but that had been resolved. The transport ministry said crisis centers have been set up Pangkal Pinang's airport and Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta airport.

Flight Radar reported that the plane, powered by two CFM LEAP-1B engines, had been delivered to Lion Air in August this year.

"We are still confirming data on the names against the flight manifest", Nufransa said on Monday.

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Indonesia is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets - and with 17,000 islands spread over an area stretching for thousands of kilometres, air travel is a fact of life.

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