A passenger plane, carrying 188 people crashed into the sea off Jakarta in Indonesia on Monday, October 29, 2018 some minutes after take-off.

The flight JT610 operated by Lion Air, lost contact with the ground 13 minutes after take-off. The jet was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which can carry up to 200 passengers.

Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said via text message on Monday when asked about the plane, that: “It has been confirmed that it has crashed”.

A search and rescue effort has been launched for the plane which departed Jakarta about 6.20 a.m. on Monday and was scheduled to land at Pangkal Pinang at 7:20am.

Reports received at Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta indicated the wreckage of the plane had been spotted.

Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman posted video of some debris on Twitter.

A vessel traffic officer, Suyadi, told the Jakarta Post that he received a report from a tugboat that identified a downed plane at 6:45am.

Suyadi said: “At 7:15 a.m., the tugboat reported it had approached the site and the crew saw the debris of a plane”.

There were no reports about the passengers on board.

A tanker and cargo ship were approaching the site and a search and rescue vessel was also en route.

The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer’s workhorse single-aisle jet.

The first Boeing 737 MAX jets were introduced into service in 2017.

Boeing is aware of the airplane accident reports and is “closely monitoring” the situation, it said on Twitter.

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