Some 189 people - including passengers and crew - are missing off the coast of Indonesia after a Lion Air jet crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta's airport.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 plane, which was headed to Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka east of Sumatra, was last heard from at about 6.30am - some 13 minutes into the flight - and vanished from radar near Karawang in West Java province. Its last communication was reportedly a request, which was granted, to return to the airport.

Flight JT610 is believed to have crashed into the Java Sea and reportedly lies at least 30 metres underwater. Footage shows debris floating on the water at the crash site where rescuers were searching for the fuselage.

There has no yet been word of any survivors. There were reportedly 20 Indonesian finance ministry officials on board the flight.

Boeing said in a statement that the Indonesia Ministry of Transportation had confirmed it had found the wreckage of the plane and that it stood to provide "technical assistance to the accident investigation".

"The Boeing Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Flight JT 610. We express our concern for those on board, and extend heartfelt sympathies to their families and loved ones."