INDONESIAN AIR CRASH

Flight recorder black boxes from crashed Indonesian plane located

Debris believed to come form the missing Indonesian Boeing 737 is taken from the sea near Jakarta international airport.
Debris believed to come form the missing Indonesian Boeing 737 is taken from the sea near Jakarta international airport. © Adek Berry / AFP

Divers pulled body parts, wreckage and clothing from waters off Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Sunday, as the military picked up a signal from the wreckage of a passenger jet that crashed with 62 people on board.

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Authorities have pinpointed the location of two black boxes from a crashed Indonesian jet, they said Sunday, referring to cockpit voice and flight data recorders that could be crucial to understanding what happened to the aircraft, which had 62 people aboard.

"We have located the position of the black boxes, both of them," said Soerjanto Tjahjanto, head of Indonesia's transport safety agency.

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

A military vessel picked up the plane's signal, and divers recovered wreckage from around 23 metres below the water's surface, the transport ministry said Sunday, citing Indonesia's military chief Hadi Tjahjanto.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo expressed his "deep condolences," and called on citizens to "pray together so that victims can be found".

No hope of finding survivors

The on-going search involving helicopters and a flotilla of warships appeared to offer no hope of finding any survivors.

The search and rescue agency said it had so far collected five body bags with human remains as well as debris from the crash site.

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

All 62 people on board, passengers and crew, were Indonesians, authorities said.

Sudden 3,000 metre descent

Data from FlightRadar24 indicated that the airliner 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 on Saturday that the jet appeared to deviate from its intended course just before it disappeared from radar.

Poor weather, pilot error or a technical problem were potential factors, said Jakarta-based aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman.

"But it's way too early to conclude anything," he added.

(with AFP)

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