Indonesian authorities say they have located the site where they believe the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 passenger plane crashed into the ocean, according to the BBC. The flight took off on Saturday [January 9] with 62 people on board when it lost contact with officials at the airport shortly after taking off from the country’s capital city of Jakarta.
On Sunday, January 10, more than 10 ships with Indonesian Navy divers found wreckage from the flight after locating signals from the aircraft’s fuselage. Four planes have also been deployed to help with the search.
“We have detected signals in two points, this could be the black box,” the chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, Bagus Puruhito, said, as reported by the BBC.
Along with debris from the flight, Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus told CNN they have received two body bags from Navy divers so far, one containing personal belongings and one containing human remains.
#Update on #SJ182 : #Rescue operation has resumed this morning. #Aircraft debris and body parts are being recovered. Considering size & scatter of debris being recovered it seems like it is a high speed impact. #SriwijayaAir #Boeing737 #Indonesia #planecrash #AvGeek #aviation # pic.twitter.com/fRTaP3vSTG
— Pratham Yadahalli (@prathampy) January 10, 2021
Who was on the flight?
The flight was carrying 50 passengers including 43 adults and seven children, as well as 12 crew members, according to Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi. Family members of the missing passengers have gathered at the victim identification center in Jakarta where they wait for news of their loved ones.
Among those missing include a family of five. A father (26), who worked for the Indonesian Forestry Commission, his wife (26), their seven-month-old son, and his mother and cousin, an aunt of the family told CNN.
What we know about the flight
According to reports from Flight tracking website Flightradar24.com, the plane was a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500, first flown in May 1994. Sriwijaya Air chief executive Jefferson Irwin Jauwena told reporters that the aircraft was in good condition.
Take-off for the flight was, however, delayed for around 30 minutes due to heavy rain. Jauwena also told reporters that the plane had previously flown to Pontianak and Pangkal Pinang city on the same day of the crash.
This weekend’s crash is sadly the latest in a long list of incidents to rock Indonesia’s airline industry. In 2018, the Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea in Indonesia about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta city, killing 189 passengers on board.
According to a 2019 report on the Lion Air Flight, the crash was caused by a combination of improper design and certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and an overwhelmed flight crew battling a malfunctioning system.
In 2014, Indonesian AirAsia Flight 8501 faced a similar fate when it also crashed into the Java Sea while flying from Surabaya to Singapore. 162 lives were lost during that incident.