17th January 2021
Make a Donation

Indonesia Boeing 737 passenger plane crash site found, navy says

Author: BBC | Published: Sunday, January 10, 2021

Local fishermen retrieve suspected debris and hand it to search and rescue teams/REUTERS

Indonesian authorities say they have found the location where they believe a Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from the country’s capital Jakarta on Saturday.

The Sriwijaya Air jet was carrying 62 people when it disappeared from radar four minutes into its journey to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province.

On Sunday, signals thought to be from the jet’s flight recorder were traced.

More than 10 ships have now been deployed to the site with navy divers.

“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.

A view of debris found in the waters off Jakarta suspected to belong to the missing Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182

Investigators are also analysing items they believe to be wreckage from the aircraft, including a wheel and what they say could be part of the plane’s fuselage.

A spokesman for the Jakarta police, Yusri Yunus, said two bags had been received from the search and rescue agency.

“The first bag contained passengers’ properties, another bag contained body parts,” he told reporters, adding: “We are still identifying these findings.”

Indonesian search and rescue officers inspect a bag with wreckage believed to be of the missing Sriwijaya Air plane, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, 10 January 2021

Search and rescue efforts were suspended overnight but resumed early on Sunday. Four planes have also been deployed to help with the search.

Ships pictured during a search for the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 near Jakarta, Indonesiaimage copyrightReuters
image captionTeams of divers have been deployed to the area believed to be the site of the crash

The missing aircraft is not a 737 Max, the Boeing model that was grounded from March 2019 until last December following two deadly crashes.

What happened to the aircraft?

The Sriwijaya Air passenger plane departed Jakarta airport at 14:36 local time (07:36 GMT) on Saturday.

Minutes later, at 14:40, the last contact with the plane was recorded, with the call sign SJY182, according to the transport ministry.

The usual flight time to Pontianak, in the west of the island of Borneo, is 90 minutes.

The aircraft did not send a distress signal, according to the head of national search and rescue agency Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito.

It is thought to have dropped more than 3,000m (10,000ft) in less than a minute, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.com.

Witnesses said they had seen and heard at least one explosion.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.