Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesian rescuers have pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea where the Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 that disappeared is suspected to have crashed.
Officials from Indonesia informed that on Sunday morning, the Indonesian rescuers have pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea that are suspected to be related to the Boeing 737-500 that crashed minutes after its takeoff from Jakarta on Saturday.
The Transportation Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi said that the authorities have launched massive search efforts after identifying “the possible location of the crash site.”
These pieces were found by the SAR team between Lancang Island and Laki Island.National Search and Rescue Agency Bagus Puruhito informed.
While the pieces that were pulled out of the sea are currently being investigated by the authorities, several fishermen around the area had reported hearing an explosion around 2.30pm Saturday (6.30pm AEDT) around Thousand Islands.
We heard something explode, we thought it was a bomb or a tsunami since after that we saw the big splash from the water.Fisherman Solihin told The Associated Press by phone.
The fisherman further informed that as it was raining heavily and as the weather was bad, they could not see around the area clearly and what exactly happened that day. However, the fisherman said that the crew could see a splash and followed by a large wave right after they heard the sound.
Along with this, the fishermen also stated that they saw plane debris and fuel around their boat.
The debris will be passed to the National Transportation Safety Committee to be investigated, and is not yet confirmed that the debris is from the missing plane.
The missing Indonesia plane was carrying 50 passengers – 43 adults and 7 children — as well as 12 crew members, revealed Indonesian Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, during a press conference.
The plan took off after one hour of it’s scheduled time at 2.36pm but lost contact at 2:40 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (2:40 a.m. ET). The flight is suspected to have dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from the radar, according to the global flight tracking service Flightradar24.
It has now been over 12 hours since the Boeing plane disappeared and the authorities are still not aware of what caused the crash.
Sriwijaya Airlines CEO Jefferson Irwin Jauwena has said the 26 year old plane was in good condition before take off and that it was delayed due to bad weather and not because of any damage. Jauwena further told that that “Maintenance report said everything went well and airworthy.”
The Indonesian airline industry has a worrying record, especially with Boeing 737’s which have been involved in multiple accidents over the years. The horrifying 2018 Lion Air crash which claimed 189 lives, was a Boeing 737 Max 8. While airlines in the country have slowly improved, this is yet another major setback for the industry in Indonesia.