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Jakarta Post

Lion Air JT610: 'We're hoping for a miracle,' says Basarnas deputy

  • Ivany Atina Arbi and Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 29, 2018   /   02:54 pm
Lion Air JT610: 'We're hoping for a miracle,' says Basarnas deputy Search and rescue (SAR) personnel recover debris and materials at sea near the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea on Monday morning off Karawang, West Java. (Courtesy of Basarnas/-)

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) is hoping for "a miracle" as search and rescue (SAR) personnel attempt to locate passengers and crew of Lion Air flight JT610, which went missing on Monday morning en route from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung Islands province.

The deputy of the Basarnas operation, Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, said that its personnel had yet to discover any bodies from the plane crash by 12:30 p.m. "We're hoping for a miracle from God," he said.

An SAR personnel shows a section of plane debris recovered near the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea on Monday morning off Karawang, West Java.An SAR personnel shows a section of plane debris recovered near the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea on Monday morning off Karawang, West Java. (Courtesy of Basarnas/-)

SAR efforts had recovered various types of documents, including ID cards, passports and driver's licenses. Authorities had yet to locate the main body of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, but they had found debris from the plane, said Nugroho.

"We have gone all out in deploying the equipment we have [for the SAR operation]," Nugroho said on Monday. "We haven't yet located the black box [...] our findings are not yet significant."

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. 

SAR personnel transfer debris and materials gathered from the sea near the location of the Lion Air crash on Monday off Karawang, West Java. Flight JT610 crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after air traffic control lost contact with the plane.SAR personnel transfer debris and materials gathered from the sea near the location of the Lion Air crash on Monday off Karawang, West Java. Flight JT610 crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after air traffic control lost contact with the plane. (Courtesy of Basarnas/-)

Authorities later announced that the plane crashed into the sea 7 nautical miles (12.96 kilometers) north off the coast of Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.

Basarnas has deployed 150 personnel, including a team of 30 divers, while the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police also deployed 150 personnel, said Nugroho.

The 300-man joint SAR team was also assisted by fishermen at sea, he added, and that it would increase the number of personnel to speed up the operation.

The aircraft carried 189 people: 181 passengers, including three minors, plus two pilots and six crew members. Among the passengers were dozens of officials from the Finance Ministry, the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), as well as the environment and energy ministries.

Separately, state-owned insurance company Jasa Raharja has assured that all passengers aboard Lion Air flight JT610 or their next of kin would be compensated in accordance with existing laws and the 2017 Finance Ministry regulation.

"Jasa Raharja is ready to provide Rp 50 million in compensation for dead victims, and Jasa Raharja will cover up to Rp 25 million in hospital costs for injured victims," Budi Rahardjo, the company's director, said in a statement. (evi)