Lion Air crash: Indonesia finds cockpit voice recorder 8 metres under seabed mud, remains of few victims in Java Sea


Jakarta: Navy divers have located the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, 2018 Indonesian officials said on Monday, in a possible boost to the accident investigation.

Ridwan Djamaluddin, a deputy maritime minister, told reporters that remains of some of the 189 people who died in the crash were also discovered at the seabed location.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“We got confirmation this morning from the National Transportation Safety Committee’s chairman,” he said.

A spokesman for the Indonesian navy’s western fleet, Lt Col Agung Nugroho, said divers using high-tech equipment found the voice recorder beneath 8 meters (26 feet) of seabed mud. The plane crashed in waters 30 meters (98 feet) deep. The two-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on 29 October, 2018 killing everyone on board.

The cockpit data recorder was recovered within days of the crash and showed that the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights.

If the voice recorder is undamaged, it could provide valuable additional information to investigators. The Lion Air crash was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 on board.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

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