Human remains were recovered from the crash site in Indonesia, about 15km off the coast, but authorities said they were now focusing on the search underwater. They, however, do not expect to find survivors.
The passenger plane Lion Air Flight JT 610 flying from Jakarta to an Indonesian tin-mining region, lost contact with air traffic control about 13 minutes after take off on Monday morning, media reports said. Flight data showed that it made a sudden, sharp dive into the sea. The cause of the crash remained unknown.
Rescuers have released footage of debris and personal items floating in the water at the crash site, including handbags, clothing, mobile phones, ID cards and driving licences.
The head of Basarnas, the national search and rescue agency, Muhammad Syauqi, according to The Jakarta Post said that no human remains had been found since 11am on Monday. As a result, an underwater search had begun, involving 30 specialised divers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sympathised with the victims. "My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the plane crash in Indonesia. May Almighty give them strength and courage in this hour of grief," Mr Modi tweeted.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation and urged denizens of the country to "keep on praying".
Bhavye Suneja, was captain of the ill-fated plane. Hailing from Delhi, Suneja had joined Indonesian carrier Lion Air seven years ago.
The Indian embassy in Jakarta has confirmed 31-year-old Captain Suneja's death. "Our deepest condolences over the tragic loss of lives in the Lion Air Plane crash, off the coast of Jakarta, today. Most unfortunate that Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja, who was flying the JT610, also lost his life... The embassy is in touch with the crisis centre, and is coordinating for all assistance," it tweeted on Monday.