Sriwijaya air flight SJ182- Boeing 737 loses contact in Indonesia
“Suspected debris” has been found in waters close to Jakarta after officials lost contact with a Boeing 737 near the Indonesian capital, prompting fears for the lives of the 62 people onboard the domestic flight.
Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 departed Jakarta for Pontianak on the island of Borneo at 2.36pm (7.36am GMT) but went missing over the Java Sea just minutes after take-off, dropping less than 10,000 feet in a minute, according to FlightRadar24.
Four warships were among a dozen vessels deployed on a search-and-rescue mission in the same area where debris was pulled from the water, Indonesian transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.
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A fisherman who was earlier quoted by BBC Indonesia as saying he believed the plane crashed near to his boat in the Java Sea has told Reuters that he and his two colleagues saw plane debris and fuel near their boat following an explosion around 30 metres away.
“We thought it was a bomb or a tsunami since after that we saw the big splash from the water after the explosion,” said the 22-year-old from Lancang island, named Solihin.
“It was raining heavily and the weather was so bad. So it is difficult to see around clearly. But we can see the splash and a big wave after the sounds.