01 November, 2018

Lion Air search teams find flight data recorder

Local media have reported that the Indonesian Navy have found and retrieved a black box from the wreckage of the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday.

Divers advise they retrieved the black box on Thursday morning, during the fourth day of the search following the plane crash that cost the lives of all 189 people onboard. From the initial reports, the divers have found the flight data recorder and are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder. 

Detik.com reported that Indonesian Navy diver Sertu Hendra said his team followed the electronic “pings” from the device to find its exact location, “We followed the tool, reducing the area in the place the machines were picking up sounds, and it turns out we got black box,” 

The news of the find comes just after the local police have released the name of one of the first people to be identified from the passengers. Jannatun Cintya Dewi, was 24 and came from Sidoarjo, East Java, and worked for the energy ministry in Jakarta.

The investigation team have an unenviable and difficult task in identifying the victims of the crash as Brigadier-General Hudi Suryanto, part of the forensic investigation team explained to local reporters, “We’ve examined 48 body bags of victim remains and we could identify one victim through primary identification, which is fingerprints and dental records,”.   Jannatun Cintya Dewi was only able to be identified after the team found her right hand and were able to find her on a fingerprint database, part of the national ID card system. The task may take many months to complete according to the leading investigators, with the grim warning that some body parts may never be identified.  

So far the investigation team have collected over 150 samples of DNA from the families of the victims to help with identifying the remains. It is also possible that not all the remains may be retrieved as there are strong currents in the area where the plane came down. There are also pipelines for gas and oil in the area which may hamper the search and retrieval efforts.