Sriwijaya Air SJ182: Plane wreckage site found, hope for survivors fades

Indonesian investigators inspect an item they believe could belong to the missing plane. | Photo: EPA

Jakarta, Indonesia – The Military Chief of Indonasia informed that the divers have discovered the wreckage site of the Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 that disappeared on Saturday while carrying 50 passengers. The hope for survivors fade as human remains are found.

Air Chief, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto informed that several parts of the Boeing 737-500 were found at a depth of about 75 feet in the Java Sea. As the divers also found body parts along with pieces of clothing and scraps of metal Tjahjanto said that they are sure of where the plane crashed.

The Investigators mentioned that the analysis of the found parts are believed to be a wheel and part of the plane’s fuselage along with one engine as well.

A spokesman of Jakarta police, Yusri Yunus informed that they have received two bags full of items from the search and rescue agency. He informed that the first bad contained passengers’ properties, another bag contained body parts. To help identify the body parts, the Police has requested families of the victims to provide DNA samples and dental records to help the Police identify the human remains.

The officials revealed that currently they have no hope of finding any survivors from the crash. The plane was carrying 50 passengers – 43 adults and 7 children — as well as 12 crew members according to Indonesian Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi.

The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo expressed his “deep condolences for this tragedy,” and said that the country is doing their best to save the victims.

In addition to this, the divers also believe that they have found the location of the two flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder (the black box) as emergency signals transmitted by the devices were detected by a navy ship’s sonar system. The navy is hopeful of retrieving the black box today.

Divers will start looking for them now and hopefully it won’t be long before we get them

Tjahjono stated.

The missing Indonesia plane 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 48 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.