Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Indonesian Rescuers Detect 'Ping,' Believe They've Located Crashed Plane

Indonesian Rescuers Detect 'Ping,' Believe They've Located Crashed Plane

Indonesian divers retrieved a black box from a Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea this week with 189 aboard and brought it back to a ship on the surface, one of the divers told media on Thursday.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said during a press conference in Jakarta that there was an ongoing investigation into other Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the country, 10 of which are operated by Lion Air - the country's largest budget airline - and one by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

"We hope that [the main wreckage] can be found tonight, including the black box, because the pings were heard", said Muhammad Syaugi, head of the Indonesian national search-and-rescue agency, speaking late Wednesday.

The spokesperson for Indonesia's search and rescue agency, Yusuf Latif, has not confirmed the discovery of the black box.

Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder - which could be key pieces of evidence - are still missing.

"Today we will remove Lion Air's technical director from his duties", the airline said in the statement.

Lion Air has ordered 50 of the MAX 8 planes and one of its subsidiary airlines was the first to operate the new generation jet past year.

All 189 were feared dead as only body parts and plane debris have been found so far in waters off the province's Karawang regency.

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Lion Air flight JT-610 took off from Jakarta at 6.20 am (4.50 am Indian time) on Monday and lost contact at 6.33 am (5.03 am Indian time).

Lion Air's chief executive, Edward Sirait, told reporters that the plane had suffered "a technical issue" on Sunday night, but engineers had cleared it to fly on Monday morning.

Authorities said Wednesday they believed they had pinpointed the resting place of the Lion Air jetliner, which vanished from radar screens after taking off on a flight to nearby Bangka-Belitung island.

Distraught family members struggled to comprehend the sudden loss of loved ones in the crash of a plane with experienced pilots in fine weather.

The devices record information about the speed, altitude and direction of the plane as well as flight crew conversations and could hold vital clues to the cause of the deadly accident.

Relatives wait for the news of the forensics inspection at the Police Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.

"We followed the signals and narrowed the search area".

Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade.

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