Anxious families in Indonesia seek news after plane carrying 188 crashes into the sea

2018-10-29 10:19

Families are turning up at Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency headquarters in Jakarta for word of their loved ones after a Lion Air plane crashed at sea.

Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani met with the agency chief, seeking information about 20 finance ministry staff who were on the flight.

The Boeing plane disappeared on Monday morning and the search is concentrating in oil-slickened waters where debris has been found.

READ: Passenger jet with 188 on board crashes into sea off Indonesia coast: Official

Feni, who uses a single name, said her soon-to-be-married sister was on the flight, planning to meet relatives in Pangkal Pinang.

"We are here to find any information about my younger sister, her fiancé, her in-law to be and a friend of them," said Feni.

"We don't have any information," she said, as her father wiped tears from reddened eyes.

"No one provided us with any information that we need.

"We're confused. We hope that our family is still alive," she said.

Delivered in August

Earlier, aviation tracking website Flightradar24 said the Lion Air plane that crashed after take-off from Jakarta was a brand-new aircraft that has only been in use for a couple of months.

The site says the 737 Max 8 plane was registered as PK-LQP and was delivered to the airline in August.

Vessels searching in the water for the Flight 610 wreckage have found various items of debris.

The Max 8 is part of Boeing's latest narrow-body 737 series. It replaced the similar 737-800 in the US-based plane maker's product line.

Boeing spokesperson Paul Lewis says Boeing is "closely monitoring the situation" but did not provide details on the aircraft in question.

Indonesia's disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted photos on Twitter of debris including a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.

He said the flight was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and seven crew members.

Indonesian TV broadcast pictures of a fuel slick and debris field.

The Boeing 737-800 departed the Indonesian capital about 06:20 for Pangkal Pinang on an island chain off Sumatra. Data for Flight 610 on aircraft tracking website FlightAware ends just a few minutes following take-off.

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