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Indonesian passenger plane disappears minutes after take-off


A passenger plane with more than 50 people onboard has gone missing shortly after take-off from the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 lost contact en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province, officials said.

Flight tracking website said the aircraft had lost more than 3,000m (10,000ft) in altitude in less than a minute.

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Pictures of what seemed to be aircraft debris appeared on TV and social media.

A number of residents of Lancang island, near where the plane disappeared, told the BBC Indonesian service they had found objects they thought were from the plane.

The transport ministry said search and rescue efforts were underway.

It said the last contact with the plane, with the call sign SJY182, was made at 14:40 local time (07:40 GMT).

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According to registration details, the plane is a 27-year-old Boeing 737-500.

Sriwijaya Air, a local carrier, said it was still gathering information about the flight.

The plane is not a 737 Max, the Boeing model involved in two major crashes in recent years.

The first of those, in October 2018, involved an Indonesian Lion Air flight which plunged into the sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta killing 189 people.

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Transport including aviation accidents are relatively common in Indonesia, because of overcrowding, ageing infrastructure and lax safety standards.