Lion Air crash: Images of the unfolding tragedy

Search and rescue officials in the sea off Jakarta

A search and rescue operation has begun after Lion Air flight JT 610 crashed into the Java Sea.

The plane went down with 189 passengers and crew on board.

Dozens of ships and hundreds of search officers are now on location in Karawang Bay off the coast of Jakarta - the last known point of contact of the plane.

They are trying to locate the main wreckage and the crucial flight data recorder that may provide answers as to why the plane crashed.

Image copyright AFP

Lots of debris and personal belongings of passengers on the plane have already been recovered.

Image copyright Reuters

This image of an iPhone cover has captured the attention of many online.

Image copyright AFP PHOTO / National Disaster Mitigation Agency

Meanwhile relatives of those on board have gathered at Jakarta airport and at Depati Amir airport in Pangkal Pinang where the plane was headed, as they wait for news of their loved ones.

Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Reuters