A passenger plane carrying 188 people has crashed into the sea off Jakarta.

Flight JT610 lost contact with the ground 13 minutes after take-off, The Guardian reports.

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“It has been confirmed that it has crashed,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the country’s search and rescue agency, said on Monday.

The jet was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which can carry up to 200 passengers.

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A search and rescue effort has been launched for the plane, which departed Jakarta about 6.20am lpcal time on Monday.

It was scheduled to land at Pangkal Pinang at 7.20am.

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.

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“We don’t know yet whether there are any survivors,” Syaugi told a news conference. “We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm.”

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

A vessel traffic officer, Suyadi, told the Jakarta Post that at 6.45am he received a report from a tugboat that had identified a downed plane.

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

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