Lion Air jet crash in Indonesia: Divers scour seabed for bodies

October 30, 2018  

Scores of divers from Basarnas are combing the seabed 40 metres beneath for the wreckage of the Lion Air jet.

11:57, UK,

By Tom Cheshire, Asia correspondent, in Java Sea, Indonesia

Indonesian search teams have recovered at least 10 bodies from the water after a Lion Air jet plunged into the sea with 189 people aboard.

The Boeing-737 MAX, which went into service just months ago, crashed into the Java Sea moments after it had asked to return to Jakarta on Monday.

Nine miles out to sea from Jakarta, an exhaustive, meticulous search effort is under way for the rest of the passengers and the plane’s fuselage.

Scores of divers from Basarnas are combing the seabed 40 metres beneath for the wreckage of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed on Monday morning.

There is a rhythm to the search agency’s work. Every so often a small boat pulls up alongside the main vessel; searches haul up a bag.

Inside is debris. They pour it out on the floor and scour it for body parts, mainly skin and hair, and add those to a zipped up body bag full of human remains.

The airline was banned for many years by the EU and has had other serious incidents in its short existence.

The rest is added to a larger pile of debris on deck: exterior panels, seat cushions but also shoes – a white Adidas sneaker – and ripped handbags.

Many of the pieces are tiny – just scraps pulled dripping wet from the ocean – testament to the brutal impact as the plane hit the sea.

But every piece will be stitched back together and could prove vital in understanding why a brand new jet, flying in clear skies, came down only 13 minutes into its flight.

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When we were on board, they had not found the main body of the fuselage where they expect to recover most of the missing bodies.

Barsanas sadly has experience in these situations: they recovered the wreckage of another Indonesian air disaster – AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea during bad weather.

The search workers told me it’s only a matter of time before they find the fuselage of JT610 and the rest of its passengers.

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