Debris from downed Lion Air JT610 located; govt officials reported to be among passengers

Debris from downed Lion Air JT610 located; govt officials reported to be among passengers
The Basarnas also sent an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search for passengers and crew.
PHOTO: Basarnas

Authorities have begun search and rescue (SAR) operations for the passengers and crew of Lion Air flight JT610, which went missing on Monday morning en route from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung.

The Lion Air flight lost contact with air traffic controllers at 6.33am, shortly after it took off at 6.20am from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The plane, which reportedly carried two pilots, six crew members and 181 passengers, including two children and one infant, reportedly crashed 7 miles north off the coast of Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.

"We are certain that the plane crashed into the sea and is submerged at a depth of 30 to 35 meters," National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) head M. Syaugi told a press conference on Monday.

Lion Air plane carrying 189 people crashes into sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta

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    Chief of Indonesia's Lion Air flight JT610 search and rescue operations Muhammad Syaugi looks through recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed flight at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta

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    A pair of infant shoes is pictured among recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta.

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    There were 189 people on board flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air when ground staff lost contact with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft early on Monday, 13 minutes after it had left the airport in Jakarta, the capital.

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    Rescue team members arrange the wreckage, showing part of the logo of Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea

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    A crying mother shows a graduation picture of her son, Agil Nugroho Septian, who was a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Tegal, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.

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    Lutfiani shows an undated picture of her husband, Deryl Fida Febrianto, a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Surabaya, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.

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    A witness in the Karawang district said he had heard an explosion from the beach around the time the aircraft went down.

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    Sangeeta Suneja, mother of Bhavye Suneja, a pilot of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, reacts as she leaves for Jakarta, in New Delhi

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    Gulshan Suneja, father of pilot Bhavye Suneja.

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    Sony Setiawan (C) speaks to journalists at Pangkal Pinang airport in Bangka Belitung province on October 29, 2018, following his arrival on another airline after missing his pre-planned flight on Lion Air flight JT 610 which crashed off the coast north of Jakarta. - Setiawan was due to board the ill-fated Boeing-737 MAX but was held up on his commute to Soekarno-Hatta airport by Jakarta’s notorious traffic congestion.

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    A forensics team carries bodies of the victims of Lion Air flight JT610 to Sukanto National Police Hospital, East Jakarta, on Monday. In a statement, Lion Air said human remains had been collected in 24 body bags after sweeps of the crash site, which is about 15 km (nine miles) off the coast to the northeast of Jakarta.

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    Rescue team members carry a body bag with the remains of a passenger.

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    Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati hugs a relative of a victim of the Lion Air flight JT610 crash.

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    The Indonesian authorities have mounted a search and rescue operation for a Lion Air plane which crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Monday (Oct 29) morning.

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    There are 189 passengers and crew on board the plane, including two infants, one child, two pilots and six cabin crew.

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    The plane plunged into Karawang Bay, West Java province, Mr Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told a press briefing.

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    The waters at the crash site are around 30m to 35m deep.

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    "On the sea surface, we found debris… The location is two nautical miles from where the plane lost contact," he told reporters.

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    The crash site is near a facility of state-owned oil company Pertamina in West Java province. A video taken from a Pertamina vessel near the crash site showed oil patches on the water surface.

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    Officials said the plane had requested a return to base before finally disappearing from the radar.

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    Local TV footage also showed wallets and mobile phones that had been retrieved from the waters.

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    The head of Indonesia's national transportation safety committee (KNKT) Dr Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters that the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane that crashed entered service in August this year and had clocked only about 800 flight hours.

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    When asked on the cause of the crash, Dr Soerjanto said: "We can't presume anything before finding the blackbox and also the recording from the (air traffic control) tower."

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    An Indonedian boatman takes pictures as debris from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 floats at sea in the waters north of Karawang, West Java province.

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"We have located the debris about 2 nautical miles [3.7 kilometers] south of where contact with the plane was lost," he said.

Syaugi said that 130 Basarnas personnel had been deployed from Jakarta and West Java's Bandung and Cirebon, as well as other areas. Thirty Basarnas Special Group (BSG) personnel had also been deployed to the debris site.

Bandung SAR spokesperson Joshua Banjarnahor said that a team comprising SAR members and divers from Bandung and Cirebon had been deployed on Rescue Boat 2016.

"Ninety personnel have been prepared to assist in the rescue efforts," Joshua said. "Rescue Boat 2016 has set sail."

National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) head Soerjanto Tjahjono said that the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft that flew under flight number JT610  commenced operations under Lion Air in August and had a total 800 flight hours.

Soerjanto said the Basarnas team was looking for the black box to determine the cause of the crash.

The Basarnas also sent an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search for passengers and crew.

Recent photographs from Basarnas show that the team had recovered parts of the plane and several ID cards, presumably belonging to the plane's passengers. 

Government officials are reportedly among the passengers abroad the missing aircraft.

Finance Ministry spokesperson Nufransa Wira Sakti confirmed that 20 ministry officials, including staffers of the State Assets and Auction Services (KPKNL) and the State Treasury Services Office (KPPN), were among the 178 adult passengers on the aircraft.

"We are still confirming data on the names against the flight manifest," Nufransa said on Monday. 

ALSO READ: Ill-fated Lion Air flight piloted by Indian national

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