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Body parts found at Indonesian plane crash site
A rescue team searches for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 off the coast of Jakarta on January 10, 2021, after the Boeing 737-500 crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta airport on January 9.
AFP/Demy Sanjaya

Body parts found at Indonesian plane crash site

Dessy Sagita (Agence France-Presse) - January 10, 2021 - 2:41pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Divers pulled body parts, wreckage and clothing from waters off Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Sunday, as the military located a signal it hoped would lead to the wreckage of a jet that crashed with 62 people on board.

The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plunged into a steep dive about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Jakarta on Saturday afternoon.

A military vessel "has found the signal from (Sriwijaya Air) SJ182" and divers had recovered parts of the plane from around 23 metres (75 feet) below the water's surface, the transport ministry said Sunday, citing Indonesia's military chief Hadi Tjahjanto.

The ministry did not specify if the signal was from the downed plane's black box.

The frantic search appeared to offer no hope of finding any survivors.

"Several body parts have been found and they've been taken to the police hospital for identification," Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus told AFP.

"We don't know yet whether they're from one person. Belongings that we think are from the passengers were also found."

A child's pink trousers, a broken tyre and wheel, life jackets and suspected wreckage from the plane were also found, according to authorities and AFP reporters on the scene.

'Torn into pieces'

Flight SJ182 was bound for Pontianak city on Indonesia's section of Borneo island, about 90 minutes flying time over the Java Sea.

On Saturday night, distraught relatives waited nervously for news at Pontianak airport.

"I have four family members on the flight — my wife and three children," Yaman Zai said as he sobbed.

"(My wife) sent me a picture of the baby today... How could my heart not be torn into pieces?"

The discovery of body parts and wreckage came as a flotilla of warships, helicopters and divers were deployed off the coast of the sprawling capital Sunday.

Sixty-two passengers and crew were aboard the plane, all of them Indonesians, including 10 children, authorities said.

The plane crashed near popular day-trip tourist islands just off the coast, authorities said.

More than 300 personnel from search and rescue, the navy and the police were taking part in the search.

The search-and-rescue agency earlier said poor conditions were hampering the effort, but the military later said visibility had improved and the recovery operation would continue Sunday.

Sudden dive

Data from FlightRadar24 indicated that the plane reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres) before dropping suddenly to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control.

The transport minister said Saturday that the jet appeared to deviate from its intended course just before it disappeared from radar.

Sriwijaya Air, which operates flights to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, has said only that it was investigating the loss of contact.

It did not immediately comment when contacted by AFP again on Sunday.

In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight.

That crash — and another in Ethiopia — saw Boeing hit with $2.5 billion in fines over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model, which was grounded worldwide following the two deadly crashes.

The jet that went down Saturday is not a MAX model and was 26 years old, according to authorities.

"We are aware of media reports from Jakarta regarding Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182. Our thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families," Boeing said in a statement.

"We are in contact with our airline customer and stand ready to support them during this difficult time."

Indonesia's aviation sector has long had a reputation for poor safety, and its airlines were once banned from entering US and European airspace.

In 2014, an AirAsia plane headed from Surabaya to Singapore crashed with the loss of 162 lives.

Domestic investigators' final report on that crash said major factors included a chronically faulty component in a rudder control system, poor maintenance, and the pilots' inadequate response.

A year later, in 2015, more than 140 people, including scores on the ground, were killed when a military plane crashed shortly after take-off in Medan on Sumatra island.

AIRPLANE CRASH INDONESIA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 13, 2021 - 12:23pm

Seven people have been tragically killed as their plane plummeted into a house in Bulacan.

Retrieval operation is ongoing. 

FULL STORY: 7 dead as small plane crashes in Bulacan residential area

January 13, 2021 - 12:23pm

Indonesian investigators say they were hopeful of retrieving a crashed passenger jet's second black box, as they seek to explain why the plane with 62 people aboard slammed into the sea minutes after takeoff.

Divers just off the coast of the capital Jakarta hauled the jet's flight data recorder to the surface Tuesday, with the hunt now focused on finding its cockpit voice recorder on the wreckage-littered seabed.

The devices could supply critical clues as to why the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plunged about 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) in less than a minute before slamming into the Java Sea Saturday. — AFP

January 10, 2021 - 9:29pm

Authorities say that they had pinpointed the location of its black boxes -- cockpit voice and flight data recorders -- that could be key to explaining why the plane slammed into the Java Sea off the sprawling city's coast.

They have yet to say why the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 went into a steep dive about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta international airport on Saturday afternoon. — AFP

January 10, 2021 - 2:36pm

Indonesian rescuers say they had detected a signal from a Boeing passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff with 62 people on board.

A military vessel "has found the signal from (Sriwijaya Air) SJ182" and divers had recovered parts of the plane from around 23 metres (75 feet) below the water's surface, the transport ministry says in a statement, citing Indonesia's military chief Hadi Tjahjanto.

The ministry did not specify if the signal was detected from the downed plane's black box. —  AFP

January 10, 2021 - 2:35pm

Indonesian investigators say they found body parts off the coast of the capital Jakarta where a budget airline plane with 62 people on board crashed shortly after takeoff.

"As of this morning, we've received two (body) bags, one with passenger belongings and the other with body parts," Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus tells Metro TV. —  AFP

August 8, 2020 - 9:12am

Officials say at least 17 people were killed Friday when a passenger jet was ripped in two after it overshot and skidded off the runway upon landing in southern India.

More than 100 others were injured, 15 of them seriously, after the Air India Express Boeing 737 from Dubai -- a coronavirus evacuation flight -- plunged off the runway down an embankment in heavy rain in Kozhikode.

Officials say that 191 passengers and crew were on board the plane that plummeted 10 metres (35 feet) off the so-called tabletop runway -- which can be tricky to land on -- in Kerala state. — AFP

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