Indonesia deploys divers to grab crash aircraft’s flight recorders

Indonesia deploys divers to grab crash aircraft’s flight recorders

Divers were deployed on Monday to look for flight recorders from a passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea minutes after it took off from Jakarta airport with 62 people on board, the Indonesian navy said.

Searchers have already recovered pieces of the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 aircraft, including one of its engine turbines, and body parts after the accident on Saturday.

The military said Sunday that two signals from the aircraft’s black boxes – which consist of a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder – had been picked up and located.

“This morning our divers began working in the area,” said naval officer Vice Admiral Abdul Rasyid on Monday.

“We are clearing the pieces of (aircraft) debris that are getting in the way. They are sharp and could endanger the divers,” he added.

Data from the recorders could help crash investigators to shed light on the cause of the accident.

The naval search team late Sunday retrieved one of the aircraft’s mangled turbines, Major Orri Ronsumbre said.

The domestic flight had been en route to Pontianak on Borneo island in what was supposed to be a 90-minute journey when it went missing on Saturday afternoon.

The cause of the crash is not known, but data from the Swedish internet service Flightradar24 showed the plane suddenly slowed down and rapidly lost altitude just after take-off.

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said 2,600 personnel, 53 vessels and 14 aircraft were involved in the search.

At least 16 bags of human remains had been collected so far, it said.

Asked about chances of finding survivors, Basarnas operations director Rasman said: “Let’s pray for the best.”

Sriwijaya Air said the flight was delayed for 30 minutes because of poor weather.