Jakarta, Oct 30: Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency teams were on Tuesday focusing their efforts on locating and recovering the black boxes of the Lion Air plane that crashed in the Java Sea the previous day with 189 people on board.
“We have not yet found (the black boxes). There is very little chance that there will be any survivors,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), told Efe news.
More than 100 rescue personnel were searching the area where the 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.
On Monday night, a number of bodies were recovered, said Musyafak, the director of the capital’s police hospital in Kramat Jati.
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.
Lion Air spokesman, Danang Mandala Prihantoro, urged people to wait for the information in the black boxes before talking about the technical failures on the plane’s previous flight that the airline says were resolved before the accident.
Danang told Efew that the number of people travelling on the plane was 189, one more than the figure initially provided by the authorities.
The company representative indicated that they were continuing to process flight information.
As the flight was a domestic one, passports were not required, and the company does not rule out the possibility that there might have been more foreigners on the plane, in addition to Suneja and an Italian traveller confirmed to have been on board on Monday by the Ministry of Transport.
Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest low-cost airline.
Lion Air has had half several non-fatal accidents and one fatal accident, which occurred in 2004 in the city of Solo and in which 25 people died.