Rescuers recover 1st black box from Indonesia plane crash site
(Update 1: Re-ledes with new angle, alters headline, adds info throughout)
Jakarta, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- Indonesian rescue teams on Tuesday recovered one of the black boxes from the wreckage of the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 that crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta over the weekend killing all 62 people on board.
Hadi Tjahanto, head of the Indonesian Armed Forces, told a press conference that the rescue team, comprising 160 divers, found the flight data recorder and that the search for the second component of the black box, the cockpit voice recorder, was ongoing.
The first black box is now in the hands of the National Transportation Safety Committee, which is working to determine what caused Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 to crash into the Java Sea on Saturday. The domestic flight had been destined for Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
Indonesia’s transport ministry said the airplane was first registered in 1994 and had passed an inspection in 2020.
Meanwhile, the task of recovering and identifying the bodies of the victims continues, and a total of 60 bags with human remains have been extracted so far, the ministry added in a statement.
Authorities have also collected 58 DNA samples from relatives of the passengers on board the ill-fated flight in order to cross-check and identify the victims.
On Monday, forensic teams made its first and for now only identification of a victim of the accident, 29-year-old flight attendant, Okky Bisma.
Authorities said Saturday afternoon that contact with the aircraft had been lost at 2.40 pm, some 13 minutes after take-off 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.
It is not yet known what caused the accident of the airplane, which was carrying 50 passengers aboard, including 10 minors and 12 crew members, all of them Indonesian. EFE-EPA