The local search and rescue agency told the press that the jet fell in the water not far from the island of Java. Another plane's crew saw it fall in the sea. The contact was lost 13 minutes after the take-off.
'We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors,' agency head Muhmmad Syaugi told a news conference, adding that no distress signal had been received from the aircraft’s emergency transmitter. 'We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm.' He said that items such as handphones and life vests were found in waters about 30 metres to 35 metres (98 to 115 ft) deep near where the plane, identified by air tracking service Flightradar 24', the news agency reported.
There were 189 people on board - 181 passengers, seven crew members and a small child.
'Debris thought to be from the plane, including aircraft seats, was found near an offshore refining facility in the Java Sea, an official of state energy firm Pertamina said. The head of Indonesia’s transport safety committee said he could not confirm the cause of the crash, which would have to wait until the recovery of the plane’s black boxes, as the cockpit voice recorder and data flight recorder are known', the outlet reports.