Search for Lion Air Flight 610 Extended for the Second Time
Officials from Indonesia's search and rescue agency said Wednesday that the search for the downed jet from fatal Lion Air Flight 610 will be extended for the second time.
The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet plummeted into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.
“We have extended the operation for three more days,” Muhammad Syaugi, the head of the national search and rescue agency Basarnas, told Reuters. Although smaller pieces of plane debris — along with the grim discovery of passengers' body parts — have been found, officials have struggled to locate the plane's main fuselage.
Searchers are also struggling to find the cockpit voice recorder, the second so-called black box that will tell investigators any noises in the flight deck, like alarms, and what the pilots discussed in the plane's final moments. One location ping was heard from the cockpit recorder on sonar, but the signal was extremely weak, and authorities believe it could be buried in mud on the sea floor. A ship capable of sucking up mud will be brought in to aid the search.
One black box, the flight data recorder, has been recovered. Officials began pulling data from it showing the plane's speed and altitude, both of which were erratic leading up to the crash.
Up until Wednesday, the search for the plane had been a multi-agency effort, with the Indonesian military and local police assisting Basarnas, the nation's main search and rescue agency. But authorities said Wednesday that only Basarnas would continue looking for the downed jet. The agency will dedicate 220 searchers, 60 of whom are divers, along with four ships, to continue to sweep the 273-yard search area.