A Boeing 737-500 was en route from Jakarta to Pontianak, on the Indonesian side of Borneo, when it lost contact at 2:40 PM local time (2:40 AM ET), 11 nautical miles north of Soekarno in Jakarta-Airport Hatta International.
There were 50 passengers – 43 adults and 7 children – on board, as well as 12 crew members, according to the Indonesian Minister of Transport.
On Sunday, family members gathered at the Victims Identification Center in Jakarta and at the Crisis Center in Pontianak, where they awaited any news of their loved ones.
Here’s what we know about the victims so far.
Agus Minarni and Muhammad Noor Khleifat Al-Amin
Agus Minarni and Muhammad Nur Khalifat al-Amin had traveled from their home in Memboah, in Borneo, Indonesia, to Jakarta, in Java, to attend the funeral of Amin’s father – which was taking place in Bunorogo, in East Java.
While in Ponorogo, they were also able to spend time with one of their sons, who attended boarding school there.
When the couple returned to Jakarta, Minarni’s brother, Yudiansyah Yunus, asked her to help secure a place in a boarding school for one of his children.
Yunus told CNN that this was the last time they would communicate.
Minarney and her husband were supposed to fly home on January 5 on another airline – Nam Air, he said.
But when they arrived at the airport on Tuesday, they were told that in order to get on the plane, they would need to have a PCR test for coronavirus – a process that would delay them from flying for another two days.
Once the couple got their test results, they were able to rebook their flight home – but this time, it will be on another airline, Sriwijaya Air.
Yunus says losing his sister has left a huge gap in the family and that he will miss her badly.
She was a nice person, he said, adding that she had always helped him and his younger sister in many ways. He added that she was a particularly caring person and had treated her aunts and uncles kindly.
Yunus said he would take care of the couple’s teenage children, who are now orphaned.
Yunus said it was essential that “all relevant stakeholders, the airline and the government take this investigation seriously.”
He added that he hoped that the Indonesian authorities would do their utmost “to find their remains at least in any way” so that he could bury his sister “as he should, like those who die naturally.
“That’s all I wish,” he said.
A family of five in El Obour
A family of five from Bangka Island – an island east of Sumatra – was missing and her death feared, according to the family’s aunt who spoke to CNN.
The family released a statement on Saturday saying that 26-year-old Rizki, Ayudi, 26-year-old wife Indah Halima Putri, and their 7-month-old son, were on the plane that crashed.
Wahaudi mother and cousin were on board.
Wahyudi has worked for the Indonesian Forestry Commission in Ketapang, West Kalimantan – a province on the Indonesian side of Borneo – for the past three years.
The family of five on the Bangka Islands was visiting other members of the family and headed for West Kalimantan via Jakarta.
On Sunday, two uncles and my boyfriend in Bangka provided their DNA to assist with the identification process.
A pregnant mother and her family were visiting relatives in Jakarta
Ratee Wendania, who was four months pregnant, was visiting family members in Jakarta with her two-year-old daughter, Yumna. Nephew, Athar Rizki Rewan, 8 years old; Uncle Tony Ismail and Aunt Rishmawati, according to Ewan, Rewan’s father.
In a story posted on her Instagram account before she left Jakarta airport on Saturday, Windania says goodbye to relatives who live in Jakarta.
Windania also posted a cheery photo of her, her smiling daughter, and her nephew sitting on the plane moments before take off.
Father and businessman Yohannes Al-Suhidi, 30 years old
Johannes Soherdy has been in Jakarta on a business trip and looks forward to returning to his family in Nagarak, a village several hours away from Pontianak Airport.
His wife, Susilawati Bungahilaria, 32, told CNN that she hopes Sahredi is found safely and the family can reunite with her soon. The couple have a son who is 5 years old, Ryan Justie Raphael.
Bungahilaria said she spoke with her husband – whom she described as a “very good and sociable person” – shortly before take off.
“His last message to me was not to forget to take our son to see the doctor, because he had a fever,” she said.
She said while crying that her son was constantly asking when his father would come home.
On Sunday, Bongahelaria and Sehirdi’s father traveled to a crisis center in Pontianak, where they provided physical items that could aid in the identification process, including the father’s DNA.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly mentioned the number of passengers on the flight. There were 50 passengers and 12 crew members.