Heartbroken relatives cry at airport after Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia

Relatives of those onboard a plane that crashed into the sea off the coast of Indonesia broke down in tears as they waited at the airport for news of their loves ones.

Footage shows heartbroken friends and family of the plane's passengers in tears as they wait at the Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang, the city that Lion Air flight JT 610 was bound for.

The Boeing 737 plane was carrying 189 people, including crew and passengers, when it lost contact with air traffic control at 6:30 am shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

The plane was flying from the capital to the city of Pangkal Pinang at 1,113 metres above sea level.

Pilots requested to return to base shortly before losing contact, said Yohanes Sirait, a spokesman for the country's air navigation authorities.

Muhammad Syaugi, head of the search-and-rescue agency, said wreckage had been found near where the aircraft lost contact.