Lion Air passenger plane crashes after taking off from Jakarta

Indonesia: Passenger Plane Flight JT610 From Jakarta Crashes 13 Minutes After Take-off

Lion Air flight JT-610 reportedly with seating capacity of up to 210, crashes into sea in Indonesia

According to The Straits Times as quoted by news agency ANI, the plane had requested a return to base before disappearing from radar.

Indonesia's Lion Air says it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra.

A Lion Air Boeing 737 airplane carrying at least 188 souls on board plummeted into the sea upon take off from Jakarta, in Indonesia.

One widely circulated photo on Twitter showing the plane in the water almost intact appears to be from a past plane crash; the photos of the Lion Air 610 crash scene do not show the aircraft visible on the waters, but, rather, lost to the deep.

A shipping traffic officer in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, Suyadi, told The Jakarta Post that he has received a report from a tugboat, AS Jaya II, that the crew had seen a downed plane in Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.

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"We don't have any information", she said, as her father wiped tears from reddened eyes.

He said: "We can not give any comment at this moment".

In 2007, Lion Air was one of several Indonesian airlines banned by the European Union for lax safety standards and that ban remained in place for almost a decade. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was scheduled to arrive at Pangkal Pinang at 7.20 am.

Data from flight tracking service FlightRadar24 shows the first sign that something was amiss came about two minutes into the flight when the plane had reached 2,000 feet.

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said there were 178 adult passengers, one child, two infants, two pilots and six cabin crew on board flight JT 610.

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It was headed for Pangkal Pinang, also in Indonesia. "Many factors have to be looked into, including the air traffic management system, maintenance, training and so on, to cope with a rapid increase in the number of planes and passengers each year".

The last major accident in Indonesia was in December 2014 when AirAsia Indonesia's Airbus A320 aircraft crashed into the waters after taking off from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board.

The head of Indonesia's disaster agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, tweeted images which he said showed debris and personal belongings recovered from the site of the crash, reported BBC.

Debris of the plane were spotted on the water by a tag boat and rescue operations have since been launched.

Lion Air is Indonesia's largest low-priced carrier, dominating more than 40 per cent of the market. Indonesian airlines in 2007 were barred from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. The ban was completely lifted in June this year.

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