VIDEO: Indonesia locates black boxes of crashed passenger plane as human remains recovered - GulfToday

VIDEO: Indonesia locates black boxes of crashed passenger plane as human remains recovered


Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search and rescue operation at sea near Lancang island on Sunday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Indonesian authorities on Sunday located the black boxes of the Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea soon after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human remains and pieces of the plane were retrieved.

The Boeing 737-500 with 62 passengers and crew was headed on a domestic flight to Pontianak in West Kalimantan on Saturday before it disappeared from radar screens four minutes after take-off.

Search will continue into the night, a search and rescue official said, but efforts will be limited to sonar scans by boats.

Authorities have yet to say why the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 went into a steep dive about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta international airport on Saturday afternoon.

Indonesiasea-750x450Navy divers pull out a part of an airplane out of the water. AP

But, on Sunday, they said that they had pinpointed the location of its black boxes — cockpit voice and flight data recorders — that could be key to explaining why the plane slammed into the Java Sea off the sprawling city's coast.

Indonesia National Transport Safety Committee (KNKT) chief Soerjanto Tjahjono said the locations of Flight SJ 182's two black boxes had been identified. "Hopefully, we can retrieve them soon," said military chief Hadi Tjahjanto, without giving an estimated timeframe.

"We have located the position of the black boxes, both of them," said Soerjanto. "Divers will start looking for them now and hopefully it won't be long before we get them."

An Indonesian Navy officer stands near the remains of the Flight SJ182 Sriwijaya Air plane. Reuters

President Joko Widodo, speaking at the palace in Bogor, expressed "deep condolences" over the disaster and urged the public to pray the missing people could be found.

Earlier, flight tracking data showed the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plunged into a steep dive about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta international airport.

Sixty-two passengers and crew were on board, including 10 children, the nation's transport minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, told reporters.

On a domestic flight Boeing 737-500 took off from Jakarta at about 1:56pm and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40pm, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said.


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"The missing plane is currently under investigation and under coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee,” Irawati said in a statement.

  Relatives of passengers use their mobile phones at a crisis centre. AP

Surachman, a local government official, told Kompas TV that fishermen found what appeared to be the wreckage of an aircraft in waters north of Jakarta and a search was underway. Other channels showed pictures of suspected wreckage.

"We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water," Zulkifli, a security official, told

A member of the Indonesian rescue team holds suspected debris at sea. Reuters

A statement released by the airline said the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesia’s Borneo island. There were 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.

Passengers Ihsan Adhlan Hakim and his new bride Putri were headed to Pontianak, the city on Indonesia's section of Borneo island which had been flight SJ182's destination, about 90 minutes away.

"He called me to say that the flight was delayed due to bad weather," Hakim's brother Arwin said from Pontianak, where a wedding celebration had been planned for the newlyweds. "That was the last time I had contact with him."

Steep dive

Beben Sofian, 59, and her husband Dan Razanah, 58 were also on the doomed flight. "They took a selfie and sent it to their kids before taking off," the couple's nephew, Hendra, said.

DNA from relatives will be compared with discovered remains for identification. All 62 passengers and crew aboard the half-full flight were Indonesian. The count included 10 children.

Distraught relatives waited nervously for news at Pontianak airport. "I have four family members on the flight — my wife and three children," said a sobbing Yaman Zai. "(My wife) sent me a picture of the baby... How could my heart not be torn into pieces?"

Indonesiajet2-750x450Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search operation. AFP

Data from FlightRadar24 indicated that the airliner reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres) before dropping suddenly to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control.

The transport minister said that the jet appeared to deviate from its intended course just before it disappeared from radar.

"The aircraft's final moments are... very concerning as the speed that (it) was flying at that altitude was much lower than expected," said Stephen Wright, professor of aircraft systems at Finland's Tampere University.

"The last seconds saw the aircraft rapidly descend from 10,000 feet to the sea in a matter of 20 seconds, which implies a catastrophic event or something deliberate." But he added that the crash can "only be fully explained once the black boxes and wreckage can be properly analysed.”

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