Joint SAR team prioritizes Sriwijaya Air plane’s black box retrieval

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The joint search and rescue team is concentrating efforts on retrieving the cockpit voice and flight data recorders of the crashed Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 as search operations entered day four, Tuesday, an official stated.

“The activity at sea remains the same as the previous operation plan. We divide the team into six zones. They will focus (on retrieving the black box),” Operations Director of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Rasman M. S. noted in a press conference at the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) pier in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The discovery of large debris and human remains is one of the clues to the site of the black box that may help unearth the cause of the plane crash, he remarked.

To this end, the SAR team arrived at a decision to intensify the search operation in the six zones involving Indonesian warship KRI Rigel and research vessel Baruna Jaya capable of detecting any item under sea, he revealed.

“We will intensify our search for the black box in the six zones, with the help of four ships possessing the required capability,” he stated.

In total, the search operation involved 3,318 personnel using 54 vessels, 18 inflatable boats, three helicopters, and 33 ambulances.

The Transportation Ministry earlier confirmed that airport authorities had lost contact with Sriwijaya Air flight number SJ-182, serving the Jakarta-Pontianak route, at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday.

According to the ministry, the last contact was made with the Boeing 737-500 jet, bearing registration number PK CLC, at 11 nautical miles north of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after passing an altitude of 11 thousand feet and while ascending to 13 thousand feet.

The plane took off from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday and was scheduled to land at the Supadio Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, at 3:50 p.m. local time.

Based on the manifest, the plane carried on board 50 passengers and 12 crew members.

Source: Antara News