Jakarta – Indonesian authorities on Tuesday continued the search to locate the Lion Air plane that crashed in the Java Sea the previous day with 189 people on board, while rescue teams have retrieved 24 bags of body parts.
The police said the bags had been transferred from the crash site to a local hospital for post-mortem, CNN reported.
DNA samples have been taken from 132 family members of passengers on board to help with identification, but the police warned this could be difficult and each body bag so far transferred could contain the remains of more than one person.
More than 100 rescue personnel were searching the area where the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 plane is believed to have plunged into the water, about 8 km east of Cape Tanjung Karawang, located in the eastern part of Jakarta Bay.
The Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed in the waters near the capital city was shattered due to its severe impact with sea surface after it dived at rapid speed, allegedly from 3,000-feet, making it break into pieces.
The flight JT610, disappeared from the radars on Monday morning, 13 minutes after taking off from the Jakarta airport at 6.20 a.m. heading to Pangkal Pinang, on the island of Bangka.
Before crashing, the Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja requested permission to return to the airport of the Indonesian capital, but did not send an emergency signal, officials said.
According to the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the plane shattered due to its severe impact with the sea surface after it dived at rapid speed, allegedly from 3,000-feet height, making it break into pieces, reports Xinhua news agency.
Basarnas Operation Director Bambang Suryo Aji dismissed allegation that the plane exploded in the sky as there were no burnt sign from parts of plane and the bodies found floating around the crash site.
He added that chance was slim to find survivor among 189 passengers and crews of the ill-fated flight coded JT 610.
The aircraft’s fuselage and flight data recorders are yet to be recovered, which should provide more evidence as to what caused the flight to crash.
The plane had reported problems the night before on a flight to Denpasar to Jakarta, but engineers had checked and repaired the issue and given the plane clearance to fly, Lion Air CEO
Edward Sirait told local media.
AirNav Indonesia said the flight would have been given a priority landing spot had it declared an emergency.
The crash was one of a litany of accidents involving Indonesian airlines since 2000, including several involving Lion Air.
In 2013, a Lion Air Boeing 737 missed the runway and crashed into the sea near Bali, forcing passengers to swim to safety.
That same year, another Lion Air Boeing 737 collided with a cow while touching down at Jalaluddin Airport in Gorontalo.