Families gathered this week at the National Search and Rescue Agency headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, desperate for information about the fate of their loved ones following Monday’s Lion Air disaster.
A woman named Feni was among the throng. Her sister was one of the 189 people on board flight JT610 when it plunged into the ocean shortly after taking off from Soekarno Hatta International Airport.
“We are here to find any information about my younger sister, her fiance, her in-law to be and a friend of them,” Feni told AAP on Tuesday.
“We don’t have any information,” she said, as her father wiped away tears. “We’re confused. We hope that our family is still alive.”
The flight departed at 6:20am, bound for Pangkal Pinang, an island east of Sumatra. Thirteen minutes later, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down roughly 35 nautical miles north-west of Jakarta, littering the ocean with debris. Photos from the scene capture belongings bobbing on the surface or plucked from the water; wallets, mobile phones, shoes.
The airline confirmed 181 passengers, including three children, were on board, along with six cabin crew and two pilots.
No survivors have been found.
What happened in the final minutes of the flight?
Roughly 19 kilometres after takeoff, the flight made a request to air traffic control to return to the airport, but no emergency was indicated.
Yet, according to air traffic navigation agency, AirNav Indonesia, the plane never turned back, and air traffic control lost contact with the flight shortly afterwards.
What happened next is still being pieced together.
According to data released by flight-tracking website FlightRader24, the Boeing was flying erratically before it disappeared from the radar. While a plane would normally be steadily ascending for the first few minutes of its journey, the ill-fated jet dropped 726 feet (221 metres) over 21 seconds.
Aviation expert, Philip Butterworth-Hayes, told CNN the pattern was unusual, especially given takeoffs like this are usually operated by the plane's automatic systems.
"This shows an unusually unstable vertical flight profile," he told the outlet. "Exactly at the same time as the speed increased there was an altitude dip, which meant that at that point there was quite some loss of control."
So what caused the Lion Air plane to crash?
At this stage it's unclear.