To Pangkal Pinang, a town on Bangka Island, off Sumatra, a Boeing 737 from Indonesia’s Lion Air, which was carrying 188 people, crashed Monday morning off the coast shortly after taking off from Jakarta. announced the authorities.

The aircraft had asked to return to the airport of the capital shortly before the contact was broken with air traffic control at 06:30 (23:30 GMT Sunday).

« The plane crashed into the water, » said Yusuf Latif, spokesman for the research agency.

« We are still searching for the remains of the aircraft, » he added, adding that the Boeing was in an area 30 to 40 meters deep.

The Flightradar flight tracking site shows on a map the trajectory of the aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 8, which, after taking off on a southwesterly heading, veered far south by 180 degrees before heading north east.

The route suddenly breaks over the Java Sea, not far from the coast.

Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago of 17,000 islands and islets, is highly dependent on air links, and accidents are common.

Lion Air is a subsidiary of Lion Group, which owns four other companies: Wings Air and Batik Air in Indonesia, Malindo Air in Malaysia and Thai Lion Air in Thailand.