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Jakarta Post

All 189 in downed Lion Air flight feared dead: Basarnas

  • Ivany Atina Arbi and Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 30, 2018   /   08:53 am
All 189 in downed Lion Air flight feared dead: Basarnas Search and rescue personnel look at the debris of a Lion Air plane from the Navy ship Kobra-867 in the Java Sea in Karawang, West Java, on Monday. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

All 189 people onboard the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610 are feared to be dead after the plane crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has said.

After hours of searching for crew members and passengers of the flight, which went missing en route from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung Islands, authorities have so far retrieved body parts in nine body bags, according to Basarnas operation director Bambang Suryo Aji.

The remains were taken to the Bhayangkara National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.

"My prediction is that no one is alive," Bambang told a press conference on Monday.

Read also: Lion Air JT610 crash: What we know so far

Air traffic control (ATC) at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport lost contact with Lion Air flight JT610 on Monday at 6:33 a.m., approximately 13 minutes after takeoff. The pilot reportedly requested to return to base shortly before losing contact.

Authorities later reported they had found debris in the waters about 7 nautical miles (12.96 kilometers) north off the coast of Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.

Bambang said the aircraft had crashed into the water from about 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)

"It's possible that the 189 [people onboard] have died," he said.

So far, search and rescue teams have been unable to locate the main body of the plane because the exact location of the crash is still unknown.

Basarnas personnel, with the help of other government institutions such as the Indonesian Military (TNI), will search for 24 hours, Bambang said.

The Indonesian Navy's KRI Rigel-933 vessel has been deployed to assist the search and rescue operation, he said, while a team of 40 divers was already prepared to dive and locate the victims, most of whom were predicted to be still inside the downed plane. (evi)