Just minutes after takeoff, an Indonesian plane disappears from radar. For a long time, the fate of Boeing and its 62 occupants has been uncertain. Now the black box is discovered in the sea.
Search teams discovered the flight recorder of the missing Boeing 737-500 of the Indonesian company Sriwijaya Air in the sea on Sunday. This was announced by the country’s army chief. The search for the passenger plane, which has been missing in Indonesia since Saturday with 62 people on board, had previously been found with body parts and debris in the sea. The head of the Jakarta police’s medical department said he had received bags containing items believed to be from the plane, as well as human remains. “One contained body parts,” Umar Shahab said.
Divers also discovered more debris on Sunday, including parts of the registration number, the head of the armed forces, Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, said.
“We received a report from the dive team that visibility was good underwater, which enabled the discovery of a number of aircraft parts,” he added. Earlier, the head of the search and rescue agency, Bambang Suryo Aji, had said that the emergency services had found debris believed to have come from the plane. However, a crash has not yet been officially confirmed.
On Saturday, a passenger plane of the local company Sriwijaya Air with 62 people on board disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff in Jakarta and probably crashed into the sea. The Boeing 737-500 was on its way to Pontianak on the island of Borneo when it suddenly disappeared from radar at 14:40 local time (08.40 GMT). The plane was reported to have 50 passengers, including seven children and three babies, as well as 12 crew members.
The plane was 27 years old
On Sunday, military divers were deployed to the search. The plane is believed to be in the area whose coordinates were given at the last contact, said the head of the armed forces, Air Marshal Tjahjanto. Several warships and helicopters would also be used in the search. The debris was reportedly discovered near the islands of Laki Island and Lancang Island. The two islands are part of the thousand Islands group off the coast of Java.
The flight time to Pontianak in The Province of Kalimantan Barat is just over an hour. However, data from the Swedish internet service Flightradar24 show that the plane lost more than 3,300 metres in height within a minute of taking off within a minute. The track then lost itself in the sea north of the main island of Java.
The Boeing was reportedly 27 years old and has been owned by Sriwijaya Air since 2012. The machine has eight seats in business class and 112 seats in economy class.
In 2018, a Boeing 737 Max operated by Indonesian company Lion Air crashed on its way to Bangka Island after takeoff in Jakarta. All 189 inmates were killed. In 2014, an Airbus A320 operated by the low-cost airline Indonesia AirAsia crashed into the sea en route from Surabaya on Java to Singapore. Here, too, all 162 people on board died. In terms of aviation, the Southeast Asian island paradise is considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.