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Reasons for Lion Air flight 610 crash yet to be ascertained

Reasons for Lion Air flight 610 crash yet to be ascertained

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Oct 2018 12:05 PM GMT

Guwahati: A day after the tragic incident of Indonesian Lion Air flight 610 crashing into the sea minutes after takeoff from the capital Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board questions are being raised as to what caused the new Boeing jet to suddenly lose altitude.

Rescue operations are on by the Divers and rescue teams to bring passenger remains out of the water, as investigators examined fragments of debris scattered over a large expanse of sea.

The ill-fated aircraft's fuselage and flight data recorders are yet to be recovered, which should provide more evidence as to what caused the flight to crash about 13 minutes after taking off on a routine flight expected to take just over one hour.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo joined search teams at Tanjung Priok port Tuesday, where remains and debris recovered from the crash site have been unloaded.

According to reports from the Police, late Monday stated that 24 body bags had been transferred from the crash to a local hospital for post-mortem. DNA samples have been taken from 132 family members of passengers on board to help with identification, but the Jakarta police commissioner warned this could be difficult, and each body bag so far transferred could contain the remains of more than one person.

Muhammad Syaugi of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency, at a press conference on Tuesday, said the identification process was proceeding as quickly as possible, but it was unlikely the remains of all passengers would be found, he said.

The staff of the Agency are going through personal items recovered from the crash site, including passports, wallets and IDs. A child's bright red Hello Kitty money pouch among other items are retrieved from the sea.

More remains and debris were unloaded at the Tanjung Priok port late Tuesday afternoon local time, where Indonesia's Transport Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, joined search teams in examining the material.

Cause leading to the crash remains a mystery

The plane, a new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was carrying 181 passengers, as well as six cabin crew members and two pilots, bound for Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.

It made a request to air traffic control to return to the airport around 19 kilometres (12 miles) after takeoff but did not indicate there was any emergency.

Radar data did not show that the plane had turned back, and air traffic controllers lost contact with it soon after, Yohanes Sirait, spokesman for AirNav Indonesia, the agency that oversees air traffic navigation, quoted.

The plane had reported problems the night before on a flight to Denpasar to Jakarta, but engineers had checked and repaired the issue and given the plane clearance to fly, Lion Air CEO Edward Sirait told local media.

AirNav Indonesia said the flight would have been given a priority landing spot had it declared an emergency.

He ruled out weather as a cause of the crash, however, since the plane did not appear to attempt to turn back towards Jakarta. "That says that something abrupt and very fast happened to the aircraft."

Though the flight data recorder and voice cockpit recorder -- the so-called "black boxes" -- have yet to be recovered, Soucie warned that the emergency locator transmitters on the black boxes are somewhat unreliable, and could be undetectable, as they were with the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Black boxes typically provide information on the causes of the crash and final minutes of the flight.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet was acquired by Lion Air in August and it had only flown 800 hours, according to Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC).

The aircraft is one of Boeing's newest and most-advanced jets, one of 11 such planes in Lion Air's fleet. In a statement, Boeing said the company was "deeply saddened" by the loss and offered "heartfelt sympathies" to passengers and crew on board, and their families.

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