189 people were on board Lion Air flight JT610 for the short journey to Bangka Belitung Islands from the capital Jakarta.
The pilot had asked for permission to turn back but 13 minutes after take off air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.
Search for survivors has begun but only human remains and personal belongings have been found sp far.
Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, Deputy chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency:
“Until now we have not found the main body of the plane, but we have found some flakes on the surface and some ID cards.
“We went all out in this operation and have deployed the tools we have. Until this afternoon, we are still doing dives to find victims who have not been found.”
Relatives of passengers have been arriving at the airport seeking answers about their loved ones.
The cause of the crash remains unclear.
Edward Sirait, Lion Air CEO:
“This aircraft last flew from Denpasar to Cengkareng (Jakarta airport) and it was released to fly. Indeed, there was a report about a technical problem but we have worked on the technical issue based on the procedure from the aircraft manufacturer.”
Lion Air has had several incidents since 1999 and was even banned from European airspace until 2016.
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