Indonesia plane crash: flight JT610 plunges into waters off Jakarta

A passenger plane carrying 188 people has crashed into the sea off Jakarta, minutes after take-off.

“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the country’s search and rescue agency, said on Monday by text message, when asked about the fate of the plane.

Flight JT610 lost contact with the ground 13 minutes after take-off, according to an official. The jet was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which can carry up to 200 passengers, according to air tracking service Flightradar 24.

Representative Image.

A search and rescue effort has been launched for the plane, which departed Jakarta about 6.20am on Monday. It was scheduled to land at Pangkal Pinang at 7.20am.

Reports received at Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta indicated the remains of the plane had been spotted. Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman posted video of some debris on Twitter.

A vessel traffic officer, Suyadi, told the Jakarta Post that at 6.45am he received a report from a tugboat that thad identified a downed plane.

“At 7:15am the tugboat reported it had approached the site and the crew saw the debris of a plane,” Suyadi told the Post. There were no reports about the passengers on board.

A tanker and cargo ship were approaching the site and a search and rescue vessel was also en route.

The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer’s workhorse single-aisle jet. The first Boeing 737 MAX jets were introduced into service in 2017.

Boeing is aware of the airplane accident reports and is “closely monitoring” the situation, it said on social network Twitter.