Indonesian divers on Sunday located parts of the wreckage of a Boeing 737-500 at a depth of 23 meters in the Java Sea including its black box, a day after the aircraft with 62 people onboard crashed, shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
The Boeing 737-500 with 62 passengers and crew was headed to Pontianak in West Kalimantan on Saturday before it disappeared from radar screens four minutes after takeoff.
“We received reports from the diver team that the visibility in the water is good and clear, allowing the discovery of some parts of the plane,” Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said in a statement. “We are sure that is the point where the plane crashed.”
The plane had 12 crew and 50 passengers on board, all Indonesians and including seven children and three babies.
He said the objects included broken pieces of fuselage with aircraft registration parts. Earlier, rescuers pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the surface.
The break in the search for Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 came after sonar equipment on a navy ship detected a signal from the aircraft at a location that fit the coordinates from the last contact made by the pilots before the plane went missing on Saturday afternoon.
It’s still unclear what caused the crash. There was no sign of survivors. “I represent the government and all Indonesians in expressing my deep condolences for this tragedy,” President Joko Widodo said.
“We are doing our best to save the victims. We pray together so that the victims can be found,” he said, adding that he had asked the National Transport Safety Committee to conduct an investigation. Fishermen in the area between Lancang and Laki islands, part of an archipelago around Thousand Islands north of Jakarta’s coast, reported hearing an explosion around 2:30pm Saturday.—AP