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The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to Indonesia to assist in the investigation.
The flight had originated in Jakarta, made a stopover in Surabaya at 2:07 p.m. (0707 GMT) and was supposed to land in Manado at 3:15 p.m., Rahardjo said.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 04:23 GMT
Search resumes for Indonesian jet
Relatives of those on board are distraught
Indonesian military ships and aircraft have resumed the search for a passenger plane that went missing on Monday.
The plane, carrying 102 people, went out of contact as it was flying from Java to northern Sulawesi. Officials reported receiving two distress calls.
The search resumed after rescue chiefs admitted that earlier reports that the plane and its passengers had been found were untrue.
Relatives are waiting anxiously for news, and are angry at the confusion.
Transport minister Hatta Radjasa admitted late on Tuesday that the reports of a crash site, bodies and survivors were based on incorrect rumours from local villagers.
Three navy ships and five military planes are now searching areas of southern and western Sulawesi, looking for something people thought they had already found.
They had given us hope of seeing our beloved relatives, but it was false hope
The plane, a 17-year-old Boeing 737-400, was operated by Adam Air, a privately owned low-cost airline based in Jakarta which has so far had a reasonably good safety record.
Officials said the aircraft was about an hour from its destination, Manado, when it sent out two distress calls.
On Tuesday senior police and military officials said the plane had been found in a remote mountainous region of Sulawesi, and gave descriptions of the scene at the crash site.
But this information was later found to be incorrect and officials apologised for the mistake.
The families of those on board, who had been waiting for news at airports around the country, have now arrived in the city of Makassar, close to where the plane is believed to have come down.
Rescue officials are holding regular briefings at the airport, to keep these relatives informed of their findings, and the airline has set up information centres at local hotels.
But there is still a lot of anger and resentment against the authorities for their erroneous report.
"I don't understand how the authorities could be so heartless and spread rumours without thinking of the suffering of those waiting for news of their loved ones," Ima Kulata, awaiting word about her cousin and two nieces, told the Associated Press.
"They had given us hope of seeing our beloved relatives, but it was false hope," said Dorce Sundalangi, whose daughter was on the flight.
The media was equally accusatory. "The people have been lied to," said the Pikiran Umum daily. The Jakarta Post said that family members were now even more distraught than they had been before.
The air disaster happened just days after a ferry thought to be carrying some 600 people sank off the coast of Java.
Survivors from that disaster are still believed to be drifting at sea on life rafts, because bad weather has hampered the rescue effort.
On Wednesday, a group of 12 survivors was found alive after they climbed onto an unmanned oil rig.
Officials said 212 people had survived the sinking, but the chances of finding many more survivors receded as the days passed.
"It's impossible that it just disappeared," Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla said after meeting with search officials and families of the passengers of Flight KI-574. He promised to spare no efforts in finding out what happened.
"Even if it takes a month ... we have to keep searching," Kalla said.
Kalla said finding the plane has now become an "international issue" because of the length of time the plane has been missing.
Singapore has already joined the search, and a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board team arrived on Sulawesi to help investigate the possible crash of the American-made plane, which was carrying a man from the U.S. state of Oregon and his two daughters.