Investigations continue into Indonesian plane crash

On 9th January Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crashed into the sea just minutes after take-off. So far four victims have been identified. No survivors are expected to be found.

A total of 28 ships, five helicopters and two airplanes have taken part in the search.

Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, which was a flight from Jakarta to Pontinak, took off at 2:36pm western Indonesia time and lost contact at 2:40pm. 

The plane reportedly lost contact four minutes after take-off and dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute. 

The reason behind the 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 crashing is still undetermined by authorities. 

The aircraft reportedly had a good safety record before the incident and Sriwajaya Air has not had any crashes previously  since its opening in 2003. Investigations have revealed that the aircraft’s engines were still operating during the crash.

On board were over sixty people, seven of which were children. Among the missing is a family of five with a seven-month baby, all presumed to have perished.

CNN spoke to three fishermen who happened to be at sea when the plane crashed who claim they heard a large explosion followed by a large wave.

Hendrik Mulyadi told CNN that, “I heard very loud explosion. I thought it was a bomb or a big thunder. We then saw the big wave, about 2 meters high, hitting our boat.” 

The men told CNN that they didn’t see the plane crash but that they smelled fuel and saw debris in the water.

One of the other fishermen with Hendrik described the sound they heard as “a bomb on the water” and said that conditions were dark and it was raining heavily.

This could possibly have played a significant role in the crash as the flight was delayed for 30 minutes before take-off due to the heavy rain.

Officials have now confirmed that the plane crashed in the waters near the Thousand Islands, about 35km from the airport where it took off.

Source: New York Times

The Indonesian navy, police, coast guard and Transportation Ministry are all taking part in the search. The navy also deployed five warships and diving troops to assist in the recovery efforts.

Fortunately, a breakthrough in the search happened in the last week with the discovery of the plane’s black boxes. The black box is a flight data recorder and there are usually two on planes such as the one involved in the disappearance. One processes the flight information, including the pressure, airspeed and altitude while the other records the audio in the cockpit, such as the crew’s conversation, any radio transmissions and even switch activations. Authorities are hopeful that the information provided by the boxes will explain the reason for the crash.

Boeing have issued a statement on the matter saying, “Our thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand ready to support them during this difficult time.”

Main Image Source: