Disasters & Accidents

Indonesia works to recover black boxes of crashed plane

Jakarta, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Teams of divers on Monday were trying to recover the two black boxes of the plane that crashed off the coast of Indonesia over the weekend with 62 people on board.

The black boxes will be used to investigate the cause of the accident.

Search and rescue teams resumed operations in the morning after locating the wreckage of the Sriwijaya Air commercial plane that disappeared from radar on Saturday, minutes after taking off from Jakarta.

Bagus Puruhito, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, said they have picked up two signals that could belong to the aircraft’s black boxes – the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder – and have managed to narrow down their possible location to an area of between 150 and 200 meters (492-656 feet) from the crash site.

The divers have yet to find the exact spot where the devices may be located among wreckage of the aircraft at the bottom of the sea at a depth of more than 20 meters.

The authorities, which have deployed 53 ships and 18 boats and extended the search perimeter, according to the rescue agency, are confident that the black boxes will recovered soon.

A turbine from one of the engines of the aircraft, which was located and recovered on Sunday, has already been brought to port and is being reviewed by investigators for the first clues about the reason for the incident, the rescue teams said.

The plane, a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 registered in 1994, crashed in the Java Sea a few minutes after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport en route to Pontianak, capital of West Borneo.

Authorities said Saturday afternoon that contact with the aircraft had been lost at 2.40 pm, minutes after takeoff and without the Emergency Locator Transmitter having issued any warning.

The plane abruptly changed direction and rapidly lost height, prompting the control tower to ask pilots what was happening when it disappeared from radar.

There were 50 passengers on the plane, including 10 minors and 12 crew members, all of them Indonesian.

It is not yet known what caused the accident. EFE-EPA


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