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Indonesia's Lion Air said it lost contact with a passenger airplane flying from Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang, reports Associated Press. The number of passengers on board is yet to be ascertained.

A Lion Air flight has reportedly crashed, according to a rescue official.

"It's true that Lion Air JT 610 has lost contact", AirNav Indonesia spokesperson Yohanes Harry Douglas said in a statement. 'We are trying to collect all the information and data'. The aircraft, a Boeing-737 Max 8, has the capacity to carry 210 passengers.

Debris of the plane, including seats, have been found floating in the Java sea near the facility belonging to Indonesia's state oil firm Pertamina, a company official told Reuters.

Latif said a tug boat leaving the Jakarta's port saw the plane falling.

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We're following reports that contact has been lost with Lion Air flight #JT610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta. "We hope, we pray, but we can not confirm".

The Boeing 737-800 plane departed Jakarta, about 6.20 a.m. for Pangkal Pinang on an island chain off Sumatra.

Indonesia relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered several fatal crashes in recent years.

162 people were killed when an Air Asia plane crashed into the sea during a flight from Singapore to Surabaya.