The hunt for the flight recorders of a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 which crashed into the sea on Saturday has been resumed.
Flight SJY182 left Jakarta with 62 people on board on Saturday at 2.36pm local time, but vanished from the radar just four minutes into its 90 minute flight to Pontianak in the West Kalimantan province of Borneo. The plane disappeared 20km north of the Indonesian capital. The budget carrier flies to Indonesian and other South-east Asian destinations.
Location of devices has been pinpointed
All of the passengers, which included babies and children, were Indonesian nationals. Authorities have pinpointed the area where the black box signals are being emitted and divers from the Indonesian navy have resumed their search through the wreckage of the passenger plane for the devices.
News wire AFP reports some 2,600 personnel are involved in the search operation along with dozens of boats and helicopters. Passenger remains, possessions and wreckage are being hauled up from waters which are about 23 metres deep. More than 50 ships, together with 13 aircraft are also involved in the search.
Rasman MS, head of the search and rescue agency’s crash operations have told the BBC that the situation is urgent: “It’s going to be an around-the-clock operation. There will be no breaks. The sooner we can find the victims, the better.”
Aircraft may have broke apart on impact
An investigator with Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said it was possible that the 26-year-old aircraft broke apart when it hit water, based on debris found so far. They believe the aircraft broke up on hitting the water as a mid-air explosion would have distributed debris more widely.
Aircraft debris believed to include a wheel, part of the plane’s fuselage and a turbine from one of its engines are among the debris recovered which is being analysed by investigators. Witnesses saw and heard at least one explosion and the plane is thought to have dropped more than 3,000m in less than a minute, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.com.
The aircraft was in good condition, according to Sriwijaya Air chief executive Jefferson Irwin Jauwena. Take-off had been delayed for 30 minutes due to heavy rain.
Picture: Sky News