It is believed that a Boeing 737 passenger plane carrying 62 people crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
Sriwijaya Air disappeared from the radar within four minutes of reaching Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
According to flight tracking website Flightradar24.com, it fell more than 3 billion feet (10,000 feet) in less than a minute.
Witnesses said they had seen and heard at least one explosion.
A fisherman, Solihin, told the BBC Indonesia Service that he had witnessed the crash and the captain decided to return to land.
He said: “The plane fell into the sea like lightning and then exploded in the water.”
“Close to us, a piece of plywood almost hit my boat.”
Many residents on an island near the disappearance of the plane told the BBC that they found objects they thought were on board the plane.
The Ministry of Transport said that search and rescue work is underway.
According to reports, the Indonesian Navy has deployed the aircraft. Naval officer Abdul Rasyid told Reuters that it has determined the coordinates of the aircraft and that the ship has been deployed to the location.
The aircraft is not a 737 Max. It is a Boeing model. The aircraft was grounded from March 2019 to December last year after two fatal crashes.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the last contact with the aircraft was made at 14:40 local time (07:40 GMT) and the call number was SJY182. The usual flight time to Pontianak, west of Borneo Island, is 90 minutes.
The head of Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito, the national search and rescue agency, said it did not issue a distress signal.
Although the aircraft can accommodate 130 passengers, it is believed that the aircraft can accommodate 50 passengers-including 7 children and 3 infants-and 12 crew members.
Relatives of passengers have been waiting at Pontianak Airport.
Yaman Zai cried and said to reporters: “I have four family members on the flight-my wife and three children.”
“[My wife] I sent me a picture of a baby today…Why is my heart not torn to pieces? “
According to the registration details, the plane is a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500.
Sriwijaya Air CEO Jefferson Irwin Jauwena told reporters that the situation is good. He said that the take-off was delayed by 30 minutes due to heavy rain.
Sriwijaya Air (Sriwijaya Air) was established in 2003 as a low-cost airline flying to Indonesia and other Southeast Asian destinations.
The plane went missing about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital Jakarta, not far from where another plane crashed in October 2018.
The Lion Air flight from Indonesia plunged into the sea about 12 minutes after taking off from the city, killing 189 people.
The disaster was attributed to a series of failures in the design of the aircraft, as well as to the failures of airlines and pilots.
This is one of two crashes that caused regulators to retire the Boeing 737 Max. After an overhaul of the system, the model resumed passenger flights in December.
Jerome Vilawan of the BBC in Jakarta said the recent incident will cause thorny issues and emotions in Indonesia. Since the Lion Air crash, Indonesia’s aviation industry has been subject to strict scrutiny.
Old plane, but many planes are still flying
It appears that the aircraft lost from Indonesia was a Boeing 737, but it should not be confused with the more modern 737 Max-the aircraft was grounded after two tragic accidents in 2018 and 2019, including one on the coast of Indonesia accident.
Sriwijaya Air’s flight appears to be carried out by a Boeing 737-500. This aircraft is part of the 737 Classic series (second generation 737), which was manufactured in the 1980s and 1990s. This aircraft has been regarded as the main aircraft for many years and has a good safety record.
Sriwijaya 737 Airlines is 26 years old. Although airlines do tend to use newer aircraft-because of their lower operating costs-it is not uncommon to find aircraft of this age still in service.
However, Indonesia has a relatively poor record in aviation safety. For more than a decade, airlines in the region have been banned from flying to the European Union. Until recently, it was believed that standards were improving, and in 2018, all Indonesian airlines were removed from the EU’s blacklist.
However, that was before the loss of a Lion Air 737 Max in October 2018. Although it is generally believed that the design of the aircraft was the main cause of the accident, investigators also highlighted problems such as poor maintenance procedures and insufficient flying skills. As a contributing factor.