Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency detects oil slick at West Java waters where Boeing 737 MAX 8 is defined to go down (Source: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – No Vietnamese citizens were marked as onboard the Lion Air passenger plane of Indonesia, which crashed into the sea on the morning of October 29, the country’s Vietnamese embassy confirmed.

Indonesia’s Tribunsemsel.com and several other local websites have announced a list of the passengers aboard the plane, on which there are no Vietnamese nationals.

The plane lost contact with air traffic control just 13 minutes after takeoff. The jet, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route from Jakarta to Pangkakpinang in Bangka Belitung province off Sumatra island.

The plane had requested the air traffic control to return to base before disappearing from radar, stated Bambang Ervan, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Transport.

According to the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the total number of people on the plane was 189, including two pilots and six flight attendants.

Indonesia has opened a search and rescue campaign for the plane, said Muhammad Syaugi, head of Basarnas.

He said one of the focuses of the mission was to dive into the waters with an average depth of between 30-35m to reach the main wreckage of the plane.

“We are now attempting a dive to retrieve the main wreckage of the plane. When we saw it from air, we were able to confirm its location. We have also discovered life buoys, mobile phones, and several other objects,” Syaugi said.

Basarnas also revealed that it had detected the location of Lion Air flight JT 610’s black boxes in the area of Tanjung Karawang, West Java.

According to Lion Air, the plane itself had only been put into operation in August, and the two pilots were both experienced professionals.

Lion Air CEO Edward Sirait said that the plane had undergone a technical problem on a previous flight, but it had been resolved according to procedure. He said Lion has operated 11 aircraft of the same model, the Boeing 737 Max 8, and the other planes did not have the same technical problem. Sirait said there was no plan to ground the rest of its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet.

Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier, dominating more than 40 percent of the market. –VNA