The Indonesian budget airline jet is feared to have crashed into the sea after the Boeing 737 lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday, with flight tracking data showing the plane plunged into a steep dive several minutes after take-off.

Officials have said that that the flight was carrying 62 people onboard, which included 56 passengers and six crew members. Among the passengers were five children and an infant.

The country’s transport minister on this day confirmed that the flight is indeed suspected to have crashed.

The Indonesian budget airline jet is feared to have crashed into the sea after the Boeing 737 lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday, with flight tracking data showing the plane plunged into a steep dive several minutes after take-off.

Officials have said that that the flight was carrying 62 people onboard, which included 56 passengers and six crew members. Among the passengers were five children and an infant.

The country’s transport minister on this day confirmed that the flight is indeed suspected to have crashed.

“62 passengers and crew aboard Indonesia plane suspected to have crashed,” news agency AFP quoted Indonesia’s transport minister as saying.

Indonesian newspaper Merdeka reported, citing sources, that the Regent of the Thousand Islands had notified that “something fell and exploded on Male Island”.

A plane flying from Jakarta to Pontianak would spend most of the flight over the Java Sea.

Sriwijaya Air’s Boeing 737-500, which has a capacity of about 130, took off at 6:37 AM from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta international airport and was headed towards Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

The usual flight time is about 90 minutes over the Java Sea between Indonesia’s main Java island and Kalimantan, the country’s section of Borneo island.

Data from FlightRadar24 said the plane reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres) before dropping to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control.

“Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta,” the tracking agency said on its official Twitter account.

Broadcaster Kompas TV quoted local fishermen as saying they had found debris near islands just off the coast of the capital Jakarta, but it could not be immediately confirmed as having belonged to the missing jet.

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