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Search intensified for black boxes of Indonesia's crashed plane, more bodies retrieved

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-01-12 16:06

An Indonesian navy diver dives into the water from a rubber boat during the search and rescue operation of Sriwijaya air flight SJ 182, at the sea off the Jakarta coast, Indonesia, January 12, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

JAKARTA -- Divers are working to remove the debris on the two spots where signals from the black boxes of the crashed Sriwijaya Air plane were detected, while dozens of bags of human remains were recovered, rescuers said on Tuesday.

The Boeing 737-500 aircraft with 62 people on board plunged into the waters off the coast of Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Saturday.

Commander of the Search and Rescue Task Force First Admiral Yayan Sofyan said efforts are underway to clear the spots to locate the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR).

"The rupture of the plane made the debris cover the black boxes. We will clear the spots from the debris, then will test the strength of the signals with a ping allocator," the commander said.

"As the debris still disturbs the release of the signals, we will remove it again until the signals become stronger," Sofyan told a local TVOne.

The distance of the two black boxes is between 150 meters and 200 meters, Head of the National Search and Rescue Agency Bagus Puruhito said.

Meanwhile, a total of 74 bags containing human body parts have been retrieved by the divers, Rasman M.S., the agency's operation director, said on Tuesday.

Besides, 24 large parts of the plane wreckage and 16 bags containing small pieces of the plane's body have been lifted from the seafloor, the director said.

A total of 3,600 personnel have been involved in the search mission, as well as 54 ships and 13 planes and helicopters, he said.

Meanwhile, one of the victims of the crash has been identified by the disaster victim identification team, according to Brigadier General Rusdi Hartono, spokesman for the National Police.

The flight SJ-182 operated by the budget airline crashed shortly after taking off from the Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Jakarta, bound for Pontianak city in West Kalimantan province.

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