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Indonesian plane crashes into sea with 189 on board, wreckage found

A passenger plane with 189 people on board has crashed into the sea off Indonesia’s Island of Java, only minutes after taking off from the capital Jakarta.

According to Press TV quoting Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (SAR), the Lion Air Boeing 737 lost contact with air traffic officials on the ground on Monday morning only 13 minutes after leaving the Soekarno Hatta international airport for Pangkal Pinang, the main city in the Bangka Belitung Islands,.

“The plane crashed into water about 30 to 40 meters deep,” a spokesman for the SAR, Yusuf Latif said.

Officials say 189 people were on board, up from an earlier report of 188. There were one child and two babies among the passengers, according to the officials.

“The plane had requested to return to base before finally disappearing from the radar,” he added in a statement.

The Head of the Search and Rescue Agency, Muhmmad Syaugi, also told a news conference that the wreckage had been found near where the plane lost contact, but they “don’t know yet whether there are any survivors.”

“We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm,” he added.