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Lion Air JT610 plane ‘crashed into sea’, Indonesian aviation officials confirm.

The Boeing 737-800 plane departed Jakarta, about 6.20 a.m. for Pangkal Pinang on an island chain off Sumatra. Data for Flight 610 on aircraft tracking website FlightAware ends just a few minutes following takeoff.

The flight was operated by Boeing 737 MAX 8 registration PK-LQP. The aircraft was delivered to Lion Air in August of this year. It is powered by two CFM LEAP-1B engines.

Preliminary data from ADS-B show that the plane had an increase in speed and decrease in altitude at last transmission.

At a news conference, officials said it had been carrying 178 adults, 1 infant and two babies, as well as two pilots and five cabin crew.

A search and rescue operation started immediately and debris from the wreckage had been found near where the plane lost contact with air traffic officials on the ground, said Muhmmad Syaugi, the head of the search and rescue agency.

This is a developing story .

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