The Boeing 737-500 plane was heading from Jakarta to the city of Pontianak, on the Indonesian side of Borneo, when it lost contact at 2:40 p.m. local time (2:40 a.m. ET), 11 nautical miles north of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
There were 50 passengers — 43 adults and 7 children — on board, as well as 12 crew members, according to Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation.
On Sunday, family members gathered at a victim identification center in Jakarta and at crisis center in Pontianak, where they waited any news of their loved ones.
Here’s what we know about the victims so far.
Agus Minarn and Muhammad Nur Kholifatul Amin
Agus Minarni and Muhammad Nur Kholifatul Amin had traveled from their home in Mempawah, in Indonesian Borneo, to Jakarta, in Java to attend the funeral of Amin’s father — which was taking place in Ponorogo, in Java’s east.
While they were in Ponorogo, they were also able to spend time with one of their sons, who attends a boarding school there.
When the couple returned to Jakarta, Minarni’s brother Yudiansyah Yunus asked her for help in securing a place at a boarding school for one of his sons.
That was the last time they would be in contact, Yunus told CNN.
Minarni and her husband were supposed to fly home on January 5 on another carrier — Nam Air, he said.
But when they arrived to the airport on Tuesday, they were informed that in order to board the flight, they would need to take a coronavirus PCR test — a process that would delay them from flying for another two days.
Once the couple got the results of their test, they were able to rebook their flight home — but this time, it would be on another carrier, Sriwijaya Air.
Yunus says the loss of his sister has left a huge hole in the family and that he will miss her terribly.
She was a kind person, he said, adding that she had always helped him and his younger sister in so many ways. He added that she was an especially caring person and had treated her aunts and uncles with kindness.
Yunus said he will take care of the couple’s teenage children, who are now orphans.
It is imperative that “all involved stakeholders, the airline and the government take this investigation seriously,” Yunus said.
He added that he hopes that the Indonesian authorities will do their best “to at least find their remains in whatever form” so that he can bury his sister “properly, like those who pass away normally.”
“That’s all I hope,” he said.
A family of five in transit
A family of five from Bangka island — an island to the east of of Sumatra — are missing and feared dead, according to aunt of the family who spoke to CNN.
The family released a statement on Saturday saying that 26-year-old Rizki Wahyudi, his 26-year-old wife Indah Halimah Putri, and their 7-month-old son were on the flight that crashed.
Wahyudi’s mother and cousin were also on the flight with them.
Wahyudi has worked for the Indonesian Forestry Commission in Ketapang, West Kalimantan — a province on the Indonesian side of Borneo — for the last three years.
The family of five had been in the Bangka Islands visiting other family members and were headed back to West Kalimantan via Jakarta.
On Sunday, two of Wahyudi’s uncles in Bangka had submitted their DNA to help with the identification process.
A pregnant mother and her family who were visiting relatives in Jakarta
Ratih Windania, who was four months’ pregnant, was visiting family members in Jakarta with her 2-year-old daughter Yumna, 8-year-old nephew Athar Rizki Riawan, uncle Tony Islmail and aunt Rachmawati, according to Riawan’s father Iwan.
In a story posted to her Instagram account before departing from Jakarta airport on Saturday, Windania says goodbye to relatives who live in Jakarta.
Windania also posted a cheerful photo of herself and her smiling daughter and nephew sitting on the plane just moments before takeoff.
Father and businessman Yohanes Suherdi, 30
Yohanes Suherdi had been in Jakarta on a business trip and was looking forward to returning to his family in Ngarak, a village several hours from Pontianak airport.
His wife, Susilawati Bungahilaria, 32, told CNN she hopes that Suherdi will be found safe and that the family will be able to reunite soon. The couple has a 5-year-old son, Rian Gusti Rafael.
Bungahilaria said she had spoken with her husband — who she described as a “very good and sociable person” — shortly before takeoff.
“His last message to me was not to forget to take our son to see a doctor because he had a fever,” she said.
Sobbing, she said her son keeps asking when his father is coming home.
Bungahilaria and Suherdi’s father traveled to a crisis center set up in Pontianak on Sunday where they submitted physical items that could help with the identification process, including the father’s DNA.