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picture captionRelatives of these on board are ready anxiously for information

A Boeing 737 passenger airplane carrying 62 folks is believed to have crashed into the ocean shortly after take-off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.

The Sriwijaya Air disappeared from radars 4 minutes into its journey to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province.

It is assumed to have dropped greater than 3,000m (10,000ft) in lower than a minute, in accordance with flight monitoring web site Flightradar24.com.

Witnesses stated they’d seen and heard at the very least one explosion.

Fisherman Solihin, who goes by one identify, instructed the BBC Indonesian service he had witnessed a crash and his captain determined to return to land.

“The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water,” he stated.

“It was pretty close to us, the shards of a kind of plywood almost hit my ship.”

Numerous residents of an island close to the place the airplane disappeared instructed the BBC they’d discovered objects they thought had been from the airplane.

picture copyrightMulyono/Naki

picture captionPolice officers and fishermen present particles that they imagine got here from the airplane

The transport ministry stated search and rescue efforts had been beneath manner.

The Indonesian navy has been deployed to search for the plane, experiences say. Navy official Abdul Rasyid instructed Reuters information company it had decided the airplane’s coordinates and ships had been deployed to the placement.

The plane shouldn’t be a 737 Max, the Boeing mannequin that was grounded from March 2019 till final December following two lethal crashes.

Difficult questions

Last contact with the airplane, with the decision signal SJY182, was made at 14: 40 native time (07: 40 GMT), in accordance with the transport ministry. The standard flight time to Pontianak, within the west of the island of Borneo, is 90 minutes.

It didn’t ship a misery sign, in accordance with the top of nationwide search and rescue company Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito.

There had been regarded as 50 passengers – together with seven kids and three infants – and 12 crew on board, although the airplane has a capability of 130. Everyone on board was Indonesian, officers say.

Relatives of the passengers have been ready anxiously on the airport in Pontianak, in addition to at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

“I have four family members on the flight – my wife and my three children,” Yaman Zai instructed reporters by tears.

“[My wife] sent me a picture of the baby today… How could my heart not be torn into pieces?”

According to registration particulars, the airplane is a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500.

It was in good situation, Sriwijaya Air chief government Jefferson Irwin Jauwena instructed reporters. Take-off had been delayed for half-hour because of heavy rain, he stated.

Sriwijaya Air, based in 2003, is an area funds airline which flies to Indonesian and different South-East Asian locations.

picture copyrightGM Fikri Izzudin Noor

picture captionThe Sriwijaya Air airplane disappeared from radar screens shortly after take-off (file picture)

The airplane went lacking about 20km (12 miles) north of the capital Jakarta, not removed from the place one other flight crashed in October 2018.

A complete of 189 died when an Indonesian Lion Air flight plunged into the ocean about 12 minutes after take-off from the town.

That catastrophe was blamed on a collection of failures within the airplane’s design, but additionally faults by the airline and the pilots.

It was one in every of two crashes that led regulators to drag the Boeing 737 Max from service. The mannequin resumed passenger flights in December after a methods overhaul.

The BBC’s Jerome Wirawan in Jakarta says the newest occasions will carry up tough questions and feelings in Indonesia, whose airline trade has confronted intense scrutiny for the reason that Lion Air crash.

Old plane, however many nonetheless flying

The plane which seems to have been misplaced off Indonesia was a Boeing 737, but it surely shouldn’t be confused with the rather more fashionable 737 Max – which was grounded following two tragic accidents in 2018 and 2019, together with one off the coast of Indonesia.

The Sriwijaya Air flight seems to have been carried out by a Boeing 737-500. This airplane shaped a part of the 737 Classic collection, the second era of 737, which was constructed throughout the Eighties and Nineties. The airplane, seen as a workhorse plane for a few years, has a robust security file.

The Sriwijaya Air 737 was 26 years outdated. While airways do are inclined to desire to fly newer plane – as a result of they’ve decrease operating prices – it isn’t unusual to seek out planes of this age nonetheless in service.

Indonesia, although, has a comparatively poor file on aviation security. For greater than a decade carriers from the area had been banned from flying into the EU. Until just lately, the notion had been that requirements had been bettering, and in 2018 all Indonesian airways had been faraway from the EU’s blacklist.

That, nonetheless, was earlier than the lack of a Lion Air 737 Max in October 2018. Although the design of the plane is extensively believed to have been the primary reason behind the accident, investigators additionally highlighted points corresponding to poor upkeep procedures and insufficient flying abilities as contributory components.