“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said by text message, when asked about the fate of the Lion Air plane. The plane lost contact 13 minutes after takeoff, according to the official.
“We can confirm that one of our flights has lost contact,” said Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro. “Its position cannot be ascertained yet.”
A telegram from the search and rescue agency to the air force has requested assistance with the search of a location at sea off Java.
The jet was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, according to air tracking service Flightradar 24. It was not immediately clear how many people were on board.
“We cannot give any comment at this moment, said Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air Group. “We are trying to collect all the information and data.”
Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations.
In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board.