Flight JT610 took from Jakarta on 29 October local time and reportedly crashed into the Java Sea less than 15 minutes after take-off.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on October 30, 2018

The flight had 189 people on board, including three children.

Rescuers have retrieved some body parts off the north coast of Java but are yet to locate the plane itself.

Deputy of Operations Brigadier General Bambang Suryo Aji said more rescuers would join his team, which already numbers around 300 people, in an attempt to recover the Boeing 737. The rescue team is battling high waves and strong currents. It is also utilising underwater robots to assist with the search.

Authorities searching for answers after the Lion Air crash

“I predict that there are many passengers still trapped in the plane,” Bambang Suryo said.

“We ned to find the main wreckage,” he continued. “I predict there are no survivors, based on body parts found so far.”

Indonesia’s disaster agency has recovered bags, books and a phone alongside parts of the aircraft’s fuselage.

It also found baby shoes among the debris.

Tracking data for flight 610 on aviation data site Flight Aware cuts out with the plane still 261 kilometres (162 miles) from its destination of Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Flight JT610 had 189 passengers on board

Soerjanto Tjahjono from Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Commission said it would collect all available data from the control tower.

“The plane is so modern, it transmits data from the plane and that we will review too. But the most important is the black box.”

Data from Flightradar24 showed the plane rapidly descending at around 6.30am local time.

Someone onboard the plane had apparently asked for permission to return to its home airport. This was granted but shortly after, the plane disappeared from the radar.

In the wake of the accident, Australian government website Smart Traveller warned officials and contractors not to fly Lion Air or any of its subsidiaries.

Since the crash, ABC Australia’s Europe Bureau Chief Samantha Hawley has written the “sadness in the Lion Air crash is that that no-one would really be shocked by it — the Indonesian aviation sector has a bad reputation for good reason.”

Hawley also predicted the latest tragedy would not lead to any meaningful change.

Header image credit: Aero Icarus