The Associated Press reported that 56 passengers and six crew members were on board. Other reports put the number of passengers at 50, who are 12 crew members.
Flightradar24, The 27-year-old plane “lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after leaving Jakarta,” she wrote on her Twitter account.
Abdul Rashid, a naval official, told Reuters that the Indonesian army had confirmed the plane’s coordinates and sent ships to the site.
As search and rescue efforts expanded, a fisherman from the Thousand Islands, a chain of islands north of Jakarta, told local media that they had spotted metal objects that appeared to be parts of an aircraft.
A local fisherman named Suliheen said BBC Indonesian service He saw an accident, which caused him and his captain to overturn their boat.
“The plane fell like lightning in the sea and exploded in the water,” he said. “It was so close to us, splinters of some kind of plywood almost collided with my ship.”
Indonesian media also broadcast footage of friends and families of stunned passengers who gathered at Jakarta and Pontiankon airports, crying and praying.
A Boeing Company statement stated that it is “aware of media reports from Jakarta and is monitoring the situation closely. We are working on gathering more information.”
Sriwijaya Airlines To Reuters He was also still gathering information.
Sriwijaya Airlines, which is headquartered at Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport, operates Boeing 737-500 and 737-800 aircraft. It primarily flies within Indonesia, but it also operates flights to Malaysia, East Timor and China, according to Cirium, an aviation data company.
In late 2018, a newer version of a well-used Boeing aircraft, dubbed the 737 Max, in the Indonesian airline Lion Air, crashed, killing 189 passengers and crew.
All 737 MAX aircraft around the world were grounded five months after their crash in Ethiopia which was blamed on a design flaw in the flight control system. Investigators later determined that a software flaw and other problems had been tolerated or minimized by the company’s engineers. The 737 MAX resumed passenger flights in December.
In 2014, an AirAsia Airbus A320 crashed at sea, killing 162 people, on a flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.
Laurie Aratani of Washington contributed to this report.