A passenger feared dead in the Indonesian plane disaster sent a selfie to his wife just before take-off, it has emerged.
Deryl Fida Febrianto sent the picture at 6.01am shortly before flight JT-610, carrying 189 people, set off from Jakarta and plunged 5000ft into the Java Sea off Indonesia.
The 22-year-old is shown wearing a green mask and looking into the camera ahead of the ill-fated flight to Pangkal Pinang, an island north of the capital.
Febrianto and wife Lutfinani Eka Putri, 23, had been married just two weeks ago and he was on his way to work on a cruise ship.
Lutfinani said that her husband messaged her from the aircraft at 6.12am but by 6.15am had stopped replying to her messages.
They had grown up together, she told reporters, showing a picture of the smiling couple on their wedding day.
'When I saw the news, I matched the flight number with the ticket photo Deryl had sent,' she said. 'I immediately started crying.'
It comes as eyewitnesses described how the stricken aircraft fell out of the sky silently before a deafening crash as it smacked into the sea.
A fisherman, named as Gauk said he could 'feel the explosion from the shockwave in the water'.
Police busied themselves with rubber dinghies and ambulances were lined up on the shoreline, but no one pretended that any of the 189 people on board flight JT610 would be found alive.
Yusuf Latief, spokesman of national search and rescue agency, said there were likely no survivors. There was no word on any probable cause for the accident.
Air travel is crucial in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that stretches about 5,100 km (3,170 miles) from east to west, almost the distance between New York and London. Although it is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, it has been plagued by air disasters.
Lion Air, a low-cost airline that dominates the domestic air travel market, has had more than a dozen accidents in its nearly 20-year history, but none with fatalities since 2004.
The captain of Monday's flight JT610 from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, the main town on Bangka, a beach-fringed island off Sumatra, was Bhavye Suneja, a 31-year-old Indian citizen originally from New Delhi. He and an Italian passenger were the only known foreigners on board.
According to his Linkedin account, Suneja had worked for Lion Air since 2011, clocking up some 6,000 flight hours. On Facebook there are photos of him in his Lion Air uniform, smiling.
Minutes after take-off at 6.20am, Suneja reported technical difficulties and obtained permission from ground officials to turn back.
Data from FlightRadar24 shows the first sign of something amiss was around two minutes into the flight, when the plane had reached 2,000 feet (610 metres).
The plane dropped more than 500 feet (152 metres), veered to the left and then started climbing again to 5,000 feet (1,524 metres). It gained speed in the final moments before data was lost when it was at an altitude of 3,650 feet (1,113 metres).
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the most recent model of Boeing's famous 737, the U.S. company's best-selling plane, and is a popular choice among budget airlines around the world.
Lion Air's plane was almost brand new. It was flown for the first time on Aug. 15, and the airline said it had been certified as airworthy before Monday's flight by an engineer who is a specialist in Boeing models.