Indonesia extends search for victims, second black box from crashed jet


Indonesian divers were racing against time to search for the crashed plane's Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder, known as the black boxes, debris of the plane and bodies of passengers as the operation will last for seven days with additional three more days if necessary.

Syachrul Anto, 48, died on Friday while diving to search for victims of the crashed Lion Air aircraft, the agency said on Saturday.

Making a solemn announcement on Saturday, Indonesia's search and rescue chief Muhammad Syaugi confirmed that they lost a volunteer Indonesian diver in the search for the downed flight.

Anto was found unconscious by other members of the team and taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead, reportedly due to complications from uncontrolled decompression.

National Search and Rescue Agency chief Muhammad Syaugi said on Sunday the search involving hundreds of personnel and dozens of ships would continue for another three days.

Rescuers have so far retrieved 73 body bags containing human remains but they have only managed to identify four people.

The Boeing 737 jet enroute to the city of Pangkal Pinang with 189 people aboard was reported missing Monday morning, and was believed to have crashed 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta worldwide airport.

An Indonesian official inspects a recovered wheels of the crashed Lion Air flight JT610.

He said a ping locator has detected a signal that may be from the cockpit voice recorder.

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Rescue workers load up recovered debris onto a truck at Tanjung Priok port.

Satmiko said investigators had already contacted the pilot of the plane's Sunday flight.

Satimiko told Reuters investigators were awaiting advice from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board or Boeing.

Its transport safety panel investigated 137 serious aviation incidents from 2012 to 2017.

"There's still a lot we need to improve", Air Transportation Director General Pramintohadi Sukarno said at a press conference on Saturday, referring to safety rules.

Besides Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air were also upgraded to the same tier.

In 2014, an AirAsia crash in the Java Sea during stormy weather killed 162 people.

Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade.

On Monday, the plane crashed 13 minutes after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.