- Indonesian Navy divers have located and retrieved the black box from the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning.
- Divers found the device from the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft Thursday morning, on day four of a search hampered by poor conditions.
- Officials believe the black box will help explain why the almost-new aircraft went down.
- The first victim has also been formally identified as a 24-year-old female employee at Jakarta’s energy ministry.
- All 189 people on board that plane are believed to be dead.
Indonesian Navy divers have retrieved the black box from the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea early this week.
Divers lifted the recording device from the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on Thursday morning, Reuters reported, the fourth day of the investigation into why the jet downed and who the victims were.
The almost-new Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed into waters around Indonesia just 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Monday morning. All 189 people on board are believed to be dead.
Officials believe the black box – which is actually orange in colour – will help explain why the Lion Air plane went down.
The flight’s pilot was granted a request to turn back about two minutes after takeoff, but communications from the plane went silent before it fell into the sea minutes later.
It’s not clear whether the black box found Thursday was the flight data recorder or the cockpit voice recorder, both of which are usually called black boxes, Australia’s 9News channel reported.
It is now in the possession of search-and-rescue officials in Indonesia, Reuters reported.
The search goes on
Crews have been scouring the Java Sea for the plane’s fuselage and recorders, as so many questions remain unresolved.
But the desperate search for the recording devices has been roundly hampered by strong sea currents.
To allow for an uninterrupted investigation, Indonesia’s transport ministry on Thursday issued 120-day suspensions to Lion Air’s maintenance and engineering directors, its fleet maintenance manager, and the engineer who gave the jet permission to fly on Monday, Reuters reported.
Lion Air’s founder and owner, Rusdi Kirana, also said it was too early to determine what led to the disaster, according to Bloomberg.
Rumours have also been swirling as to what could cause a nearly new Boeing aircraft carrying 189 people to crash in good weather.
Aviation experts have said investigators will be depending on the black box for a definitive answer.
First victim formally identified
The Indonesian police have also formally identified the first victim of the crash.
She was named as Jannatun Dewi, a 24-year-old woman from from Sidoarjo, East Java, who was a civil servant for the energy ministry in Jakarta. She was a passenger on the flight.
Indonesia’s national police started collecting DNA samples from the victims’ relatives, according to The Jakarta Post, but the process has been slow because officials have found only body parts to work with.
With distraught family members gathering in Jakarta, officials have said that they do not expect anyone on Flight JT610, flying from Jakarta to the nearby island of Bangka, to have survived.
As the search has narrowed, divers and Indonesian search and rescue have slowly began to accumulate the evidence of Indonesia’s latest air tragedy and the lives it has taken. Personal effects, debris, and body parts have been found.