Lion Air flight JT-610. took off shortly after 6:30 AM (2330 GMT Sunday.The Boeing 737 MAX 8 literally fell out of the sky near where the two men were fishing about 15 kilometres (9 miles) off the coast, silently at first and then with a deafening crash as it smacked into the sea.
Indonesian search teams Tuesday recovered more remains at the site of a crashed Lion Air jet that plunged into the sea with 189 people aboard, as a report said it had suffered an instrument malfunction the day before.
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.
Flight JT 610 sped up as it suddenly lost altitude and then vanished from radar 13 minutes after take-off, with authorities saying witnesses saw the jet plunge into the water.
Dozens of divers are taking part in the recovery effort.
Search teams have filled ten body bags with limbs and other human remains, Muhammad Syaugi, head of the Indonesian national search and rescue agency told Metro TV, saying they will be taken to Jakarta for identification and DNA testing.
The remains of a baby were among those found, according to national deputy police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto.
Another 14 bags filled with debris have also been collected.
Shoes, items of clothing and a wallet are among the items found.
“We hope we can see the plane´s main body — everything on the surface of the water has been collected,” Syaugi said.
Indonesia´s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said there were 178 adult passengers, one child, two infants, two pilots and six cabin crew on board flight JT 610.
Among them were the plane´s Indian captain, 20 Indonesian finance ministry employees and Andrea Manfredi, an Italian former professional cyclist.
The search and rescue agency all but ruled out finding any survivors late Monday, citing the discovery of body parts that suggested a high-impact crash in water some 30-40 metres deep off the coast of Indonesia´s Java island.
“We are prioritizing finding the main wreckage of the plane using five war ships equipped with sonar to detect metal underwater,” said Yusuf Latif, spokesman of the Indonesian search and rescue agency.
Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder — which could be key pieces of evidence — are still missing.
“You could feel the explosion from the shock wave in the water,” said Gauk, who goes by only one name, telling the pair’s story from the beach in Karawang regency.
Police busied themselves with rubber dinghies and ambulances were lined up on the shoreline, but no one pretended that any of the 189 people on board flight JT-610 would be found alive.
Yusuf Latief, a spokesperson of national search and rescue agency, said there were likely no survivors. There was no word on any probable cause for the accident.
Air travel is crucial in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that stretches about 5,100 kilometres (3,170 miles) from east to west, almost the distance between New York and London. Although it is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, it has been plagued by air disasters.
Lion Air, a low-cost airline that dominates the domestic air travel market, has had more than a dozen accidents in its nearly 20-year history, but none with fatalities since 2004.
The captain of Monday’s flight JT-610 from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, the main town on Bangka, a beach-fringed island off Sumatra, was Bhavye Suneja, a 31-year-old Indian citizen originally from New Delhi.
He and an Italian passenger were the only known foreigners on board.
According to his LinkedIn account, Suneja had worked for Lion Air since 2011, clocking up some 6,000 flight hours. On Facebook, there are photos of him in his Lion Air uniform, smiling.
Minutes after take-off at 6:20 AM, Suneja reported technical difficulties and obtained permission from ground officials to turn back.
Data from FlightRadar24 shows the first sign of something amiss was around two minutes into the flight when the plane had reached 2,000 feet (610 meters).
The plane dropped more than 500 feet (152 meters), veered to the left and then started climbing again to 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). It gained speed in the final moments before data was lost when it was at an altitude of 3,650 feet (1,113 meters).
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the most recent model of Boeing’s famous 737, the US company’s best-selling plane, and is a popular choice among budget airlines around the world.
Lion Air’s plane was almost brand new. It was flown for the first time on August 15, and the airline said it had been certified as airworthy before Monday’s flight by an engineer who is a specialist in Boeing models.
Lion Air Chief Executive Edward Sirait said on Monday that the plane had encountered an unspecified “technical issue” on its previous flight, which was from the resort island of Bali to Jakarta, but this had been “resolved according to procedure”.
“We don’t dare to say what the facts are, or are not, yet,” he told reporters. “We are also confused about the why, since it was a new plane.”
At Jakarta airport, tearful passengers waited for news: a mother urged her toddler son to “wait and be brave”, another told her crying girl, “be patient, pray the best for Papa.”
The only news that came, though, was of body parts and debris found floating in the water around the crash site.
Photos published by the search and rescue agency showed pictures of articles belonging to passengers, including ID cards, a driving license, and a pair of children’s shoes.
One of the passengers was 22-year-old Deryl Fida Febrianto, who had gotten married just two weeks ago and was on his way to Pangkal Pinang to work on a cruise ship.
His wife, Lutfinani Eka Putri, 23, said that her husband messaged her from the aircraft at 6:12 AM, sending her a photo from the plane, and at 6:15 AM he stopped replying to her messages. They had grown up together, she told reporters, showing a picture of the smiling couple on their wedding day.
“When I saw the news, I matched the flight number with the ticket photo Deryl had sent,” she said. “I immediately started crying.”
Media agencies as reported