Two days after a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea, presumably killing all 189 people on board, a large chunk of the actual aircraft was finally discovered by search crews

By Maura Hohman and Emily Zaumer
November 01, 2018 02:44 PM
Credit: Achmad Ibrahim/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Days after a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea, likely killing all 189 people on board, search crews discovered the actual aircraft on Wednesday.

On Monday morning, Lion Air flight 610 from Jakarta to Sumatra took off at 6:21 a.m. local time, but just a few minutes later it was asked to turn around, The New York Times reported. It later crashed into the Java Sea.

On Wednesday, according to CBS News, “the coordinates of the suspected body of the aircraft” were found, Hadi Tjahjanto, the commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, told a local TV station.

Lion Air flight crashed Monday
| Credit: Kyodo/AP

The Associated Press reported a 22-foot-long portion of the plane was pinpointed at a depth of 105 feet in water northeast of Jakarta around 11:30 a.m. local time. A few hours later, members of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency reported finding “aircraft debris and passenger belongings on the seafloor.”

CNN reported that family members of those on board were allowed to identify and unite with their loved one’s belongings on Wednesday. Personal effects fished from the waters included small red children’s shoes, women’s high heels, wallets, empty backpacks and a child’s Hello Kitty purse.

Indonesian investigators found the plane’s flight data recorder, called the black box, on Thursday, CNN reported. The cockpit voice recorder is most likely on the seabed.

Authorities will need two to three weeks to obtain the recorder’s data and two to three months to study the data, Haryo Satmiko, the National Transportation Safety Commission deputy director, explained to CNN.

The information in the recorder is valuable. “As a company we are waiting for the result from the National Transportation Safety Committee working with the black box” to figure out what happened, Capt. Daniel Putut Kuncoro Adi, the managing director of Lion Group, told CNN.

Lion Air flight crashed Monday killing 189 people on board
| Credit: Bukbisj Candra Ismeth Bey / Sputnik / AP

According to a statement from Lion Air, 48 bags were pulled from the debris, and they were then transported to a hospital in East Jakarta. Evacuation efforts are ongoing.

Personal belongings of the Lion Air flight that crashed Monday
| Credit: Sora Socha/Sputnik/AP

Many families, according to CNN, are still looking for bodies. Abdul Rahman, whose son Ryan Aryandi was on the flight, said he would be “relieved to find any part” of his 24-year-old’s remains. He already recognized his son’s shoes and black bag.

Another father, Epi Syamsul Qomar, said he believes his son is in a part of the aircraft search teams have yet to access. “I still believe that we will find his body,” he said to CNN.

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The one-hour flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang crashed 13 minutes after take-off early Monday.

“We lost contact,” Indonesian air navigation spokesman Yohanes Sirait said, according to The New York Times. “It was very quick, maybe around one minute.”

Lion Air flight crashed on Monday en route from Jakarta to Sumatra
| Credit: Bukbisj Candra Ismeth Bey / Sputnik / AP

The plane was transporting at least one child and two babies. Captain Bhavye Suneja had flown for 6,000 hours, while his copilot, named Harvino, had flown for 5,000, Lion Air said in a statement, according to CNN.