A Sriwijaya Air Boeing jet 737-500 carrying 62 people is feared to have crashed in Indonezia after it took off from Jakarta at about 1:56 p.m. local time and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40 p.m. Debris believed to be from the plane were spotted in the Java Sea. The plane is believed to have crashed between the islands of Laki and Lancang, in the Thousand Islands chain northwest of the capital, Jakarta. Three fishermen from Lancang Island heard an explosion and experienced a sudden large wave around the time the plane went missing.
The Indonesian Navy has deployed five warships and diving troops in the search, according to Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid. Sriwijaya Air, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, started flying in 2003 and typically carries nearly 1 million passengers a month, being the fifth largest airline in Indonesia based on flights. It is a discount carrier with low fares and fees. Saturday’s flight from Jakarta was bound for the island of Borneo. The plane involved in the incident, 26 years old, was delivered to Sriwijaya in 2012. Sriwijaya Airlines CEO Jefferson Irwin Jauwena said the plane was in good condition before it took off.