Crews find 1 of 2 'black boxes' from crashed Lion Air flight

Leroy Wright
November 3, 2018

Indonesia earlier this week ordered inspections of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft but has not prevented them from operating.

A wreath lays in the water at the scene of the crash site.

After narrowing the possible location, "I started digging and cleaning the debris until I finally found an orange object", he said.

The aircraft departed Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport en route to Pangkal Pinang, carrying a total of 189 people before it lost contact.

"We are also trying to find the other black box".

The head of the national search and rescue agency, Muhammad Syaugi, told local media 10 body bags had already been filled and would be taken to Jakarta for identification.

Search and rescue efforts have been undertaken by 150 personnel from Basarnas, with support from 280 police and military officials.

Dozens of divers are searching for wreckage, along with ships and helicopters, in the waters of the Java Sea some 30-40m (100-130ft) deep.

Indonesian TV broadcast a smartphone video of passengers boarding Flight 610, its mundane details transformed into unsettling moments by knowledge of the tragedy that would transpire.

Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia's search and rescue agency, stopped short of confirming that a black box had been found, but confirmed the finding of "an orange object".

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But the narrow-body jet was subsequently cleared for commercial delivery and has had thousands of orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. "We can't say how many victims there are", National Police Hospital Chief Grand Commissioner Musyafak told reporters Monday evening.

"We can not make a similar conclusion (to ban Lion Air from Malaysia's air space)", he told reporters when asked whether there was a proposal to ban Lion Air flights in Malaysia following the crash.

Officials said it was too soon to identify the cause of the crash, which has puzzled experts.

"About three to eight minutes after it took off, I felt like the plane was losing power and unable to rise".

Indonesian Navy divers have retrieved the black box from the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea early this week.

Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait said on Tuesday that the plane had had technical problems, but had been repaired before being allowed to fly again.

This has been the first fatal accident involving any type of Boeing 737 Max.

Indonesia's air travel industry is booming, with the number of domestic passengers growing significantly over the past decade, but it has acquired a reputation for poor regulation and its airlines had previously been banned from U.S. and European airspace. A ban on Indonesia aircraft was imposed by the European Union and the United States in 2007 as a result of "unaddressed safety concerns".

The plane carried a total of 189 people, including 181 passengers and 8 crew members.

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