Jakarta: Indonesian search teams Tuesday recovered more remains at the site of a crashed Lion Air jet that plunged into the sea with 189 people aboard, as a report said it had suffered an instrument malfunction the day before.
The Boeing-737 MAX, which went into service just months ago, crashed into the Java Sea moments after it had asked to return to Jakarta on Monday. Flight JT 610 sped up as it suddenly lost altitude and then vanished from radar 13 minutes after take-off, with authorities saying witnesses saw the jet plunge into the water.
Dozens of divers are taking part in the recovery effort. Search teams have filled ten body bags with limbs and other human remains, Muhammad Syaugi, head of the Indonesian national search and rescue agency told Metro TV, saying they will be taken to Jakarta for identification and DNA testing.
The remains of a baby were among those found, according to national deputy police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto. Another 14 bags filled with debris have also been collected. Shoes, items of clothing and a wallet are among the items found.
“We hope we can see the plane’s main body – everything on the surface of the water has been collected,” Syaugi said.
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said there were 178 adult passengers, one child, two infants, two pilots and six cabin crew on board flight JT 610.
Among them were the plane’s Indian captain, Suneja, 20 Indonesian finance ministry employees and Andrea Manfredi, an Italian former professional cyclist. The search and rescue agency all but ruled out finding any survivors late Monday, citing the discovery of body parts that suggested a high-impact crash in water some 30-40 metres deep off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island.
“We are prioritising finding the main wreckage of the plane using five war ships equipped with sonar to detect metal underwater,” said Yusuf Latif, spokesman of the Indonesian search and rescue agency. Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder – which could be key pieces of evidence – are still missing.
|Hours after the Indian Embassy in Jakarta confirmed that the Lion Air flight JT610 that Suneja was flying crashed, all his parents could mutter was, “He is fine, and we will bring him back.”
At his parents house in Delhi, friends and family gathered through the morning as news of the crash spread – some who saw Bhavye grow up, others who grew up with him and remember him as someone they went to Karate or coaching classes with.
At 5.30 pm, Sunejas parents Sangeeta and Gulshan, and his younger sister Ruhani left for the airport, to board a flight to Jakarta.
Suneja studied at Ahlcon Public School, and according to his LinkedIn profile, received his commercial pilot licence (CPL) from the California-based Bel-Air International pilot training and flight school. He joined Lion Air in 2011. Suneja married Garima Sethi in 2016 and the couple lived in Jakarta.