Friday, 22 February, 2019

Indonesian diver dies searching for victims of Lion Air crash

The Indonesian navy and members of a search and rescue team lifting the wheels of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610 after they were recovered from the sea yesterday. Three more victims on the plane have been identified said police Indonesian diver dies searching for victims of Lion Air crash
Melinda Barton | 06 November, 2018, 21:28

Indonesian authorities have extended the search at sea for victims of the Lion Air crash and the plane's cockpit voice recorder.

The search and rescue agency (Basarnas) confirmed his death today but did not give a specific cause.

As of Sunday, a total of 105 body bags had been found, Syaugi said, and added: "I'm sure this number will increase". The family of the 48-year-old refused an autopsy and he was buried Saturday in Surabaya.

Television images showed divers tying ropes to twisted plane parts scattered along the seafloor, as navy personnel hauled a pair of wheels from the jet aboard a ship.

The brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after takeoff from Jakarta early on October 29, killing all 189 people on board and baffling aviation experts.

The pilot of flight JT610 had asked for, and received, permission to turn back to Jakarta, but what went wrong remains a mystery.

He also thanked rescue crews for their hard work.

He said weak signals, potentially from the cockpit voice recorder, were traced to a location but an object hadn't been found yet due to deep seabed mud.

The sea is only 30 m (98 ft) deep at the crash site but strong currents and nearby pipelines have hampered the search.

On Thursday, one of the plane's black boxes, which airlines are required to install in jets, was recovered as well as parts of its landing gear.

Lion has claimed a technical problem was fixed after Sunday's flight.

Indonesia is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets but its safety record has been patchy.

While the force of the impact tore off exterior electronics and some of the recorder's structure, the module holding the data-storage area appears in news photos to be intact and the unit should still be operable, said James Cash, a former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator who's processed thousands of such recorders.

Founded in 1999, Lion Air is a budget airline operating in Indonesia and in some parts of Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

A team of engineers from Boeing was scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Wednesday for meetings with Lion Air, according to Indonesia's transportation safety committee. The agency lifted the ban in 2016.The European Union similarly barred Indonesian carriers from flying into European airspace from 2007 until June.

On Monday, the plane crashed 13 minutes after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.