A Boeing 737-800 jet belonging to Lion Air with 188 passengers and crew on board has crashed into the sea off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra shortly after taking off from an airport in Jakarta.

According to a statement issued by the country’s Search and Rescue Agency on Monday, the aircraft plunged into the water which is about 30 to 40 metres deep after losing contact with the airport’s terminal.

“The plane crashed into water about 30 to 40 metres deep. We’re still searching for the remains of the plane,” the statement signed by Yusuf Latif, the agency’s spokesperson said.

A search and rescue effort has also been launched for the jet which was heading for Pangkal Pinang.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations.

In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board.