| USA TODAY
A Boeing passenger jet carrying 62 people lost contact with air traffic controllers after taking off from Indonesia’s capital on a domestic flight Saturday, officials said.
Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182, a Boeing 737-500, which took off from Jakarta, was en route to Pontianak, FlightRadar24.com tweeted Saturday. It lost more than 10,000 feet in altitude in one minute, four minutes after departure, according to the flight tracking service.
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said the jet took off at about 1:56 p.m. local time and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40 p.m.
According to FlightRadar24.com’s tweet, the plane’s last known altitude was 250 feet with its highest altitude being 10,900 feet.
A statement released by the airline said the plane’s route was estimated to be a 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesia’s Borneo island. There were 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.
“The missing plane is currently under investigation and under coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee,” Irawati said in a statement.
A plane flying from Jakarta to Pontianak would spend most of the flight over the Java Sea. There was still no sign of the missing plane as night fell.
According to the BBC, the Boeing 737 jet is not a Max, the plane that has been involved in a couple major crashes. The South China Morning Post reported that the missing Sriwijaya Air plane is about 26 years old.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Contributing: The Associated Press