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The aerial search for the crashed Sriwijaya Air plane was also expanding, said National Search and Rescue Agency mission coordinator Rasman, who uses a name.

More than 4,000 members of search and rescue personnel are supported by 14 aircraft, 62 boats and 21 inflatable boats. They are using an underwater metal detector and remotely operated vehicle to search for human remains, the cockpit voice recorder and more remains.

An Indonesian soldier stands guard near debris found in the waters around the site where a Sriwijaya Air passenger plane crashed into the search and rescue command center at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, 15 January 2021
An Indonesian soldier stands guard near debris found in the waters around the site where a Sriwijaya Air passenger plane crashed into the search and rescue command center at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, 15 January 2021 (AP)

The divers narrowed down the search for the cockpit voice recorder after finding some of its parts.

“We have found the case, the beacon and the CVR batteries. We need to search for the memory unit,” said the commander of the First Fleet Command of the Navy, Abdul Rasyid on Friday.

“We hope he is not far from them,” he said.

Investigators have downloaded information from the plane’s flight data recorder, which was recovered earlier this week.

“There are 330 parameters and everything is in good condition. We are learning it now,” said Soerjanto Tjahjono, president of the National Transportation Safety Committee.

The families of those on board have been providing DNA samples to help identify them. National Police spokesman Rusdi Hartono said that as of Thursday, 12 of the 62 victims had been identified, including a flight attendant and an off-duty pilot.

Relatives cry while praying during the burial of Fadly Satrianto, a victim of the crash of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Friday, January 15, 2021.
Relatives cry while praying during the burial of Fadly Satrianto, a victim of the crash of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Friday, January 15, 2021. (AP)

The committee has said the crew did not declare an emergency or report any technical problems before the plane sank into the sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta in heavy rain. They said it broke on impact with water, ruling out an airborne explosion, because the debris field is concentrated and parts of the engine indicate it was running until impact.

The 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 was out of service for nearly nine months last year due to flight cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The airline and Indonesian officials say it underwent inspections, including possible engine corrosion that could have developed during the layoff, before resuming commercial flights in December.

Indonesia’s aviation industry grew rapidly after the nation’s economy was opened up following the fall of dictator Suharto in the late 1990s. Security concerns led the United States and the European Union to ban carriers Indonesians for years, but since then the bans have been lifted due to better compliance with international aviation standards.


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