Search Teams Dispatched After Indonesian Passenger Plane Goes Missing

Emergency searches were underway after Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 went missing over open water on the afternoon of January 9 after losing contact with Indonesian authorities minutes after take off from Jakarta.

Sriwijaya Air said in a statement that the plane lost contact at 14.40 pm Western Indonesia Time. The aircraft was manned by six crew members and was carrying 56 passengers, 10 of whom were children, and six of whom were airline staff, the airline said.

The country’s transport ministry said officials observed the plane heading in the wrong direction and disappearing from radar seconds after an air traffic controller asked for a report.

According to FlightRadar24 data the plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than a minute.

After receiving reports of the contact loss, the National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) dispatched a search-and-rescue (SAR) team to the area between Lancang Island and Laki Island, where the plane was suspected to have lost contact. They were joined by the a team from the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), which maintained health protocols at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s crisis center post where the victims’ families were gathered.

The SAR team was still sweeping the surface of the waters by ship as of Saturday night with visual equipment for sea-level and underwater searches, BASARNAS reported. The organization was also prepared to perform air searches. Credit: BASARNAS via Storyful