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Indonesia hunts for victims, wreckage of air crash; survivors seen unlikely

Updated : October 30, 2018 12:29 PM IST

Indonesia on Tuesday stepped up a search for an airliner that plunged into the sea with all 189 aboard feared dead, deploying underwater beacons to trace its black box recorders and uncover why an almost-new plane crashed minutes after take-off.

Indonesia, one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, has a patchy safety record. With the now almost certain prospect of all on board having died, the crash is set to rank as the country's second-worst air disaster.

Ground staff lost contact with flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air 13 minutes after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft took off early on Monday from the airport in Jakarta, the capital, on its way to Indonesia's tin-mining region.

The search and rescue agency added that four sonar detectors were also being used in areas where aircraft debris was found a day earlier off the shore of Karawang, West Java, and 15 vessels were scouring the sea surface.

A helicopter circled over five rubber boats carrying about 36 rescuers, as some donned rubber suits, readying to dive.

Earlier, however, Yusuf Latif, the spokesman of the national search and rescue agency, had said finding survivors "would be a miracle", judging by the condition of the recovered debris and body parts.

In a statement, Lion Air said human remains were collected in 24 body bags after sweeps of the site of the crash, in waters about 30 to 35 metres (98 to 115 ft) deep roughly 15 km (nine miles) off the coast to the northeast of Jakarta.

The bags were taken to a hospital for identification, with more expected overnight, authorities told broadcaster Metro TV.

Chief of Indonesia's Lion Air flight JT610 search and rescue operations Muhammad Syaugi looks through recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed flight at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Chief of Indonesia's Lion Air flight JT610 search and rescue operations Muhammad Syaugi looks through recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed flight at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Recovered debris believed to be from Lion Air flight JT610 are pictured at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Recovered debris believed to be from Lion Air flight JT610 are pictured at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A pair of infant shoes is pictured among recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A pair of infant shoes is pictured among recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
An Indonesian police officer studies a map in the search and rescue command centre for the Lion Air flight JT610 crash at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
An Indonesian police officer studies a map in the search and rescue command centre for the Lion Air flight JT610 crash at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
An Indonesian policeman holds wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
An Indonesian policeman holds wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, lies at Tanjung Priock port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, lies at Tanjung Priock port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Gulshan suneja, father of Bhavye Suneja, a pilot of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, is consoled before he leaves for Jakarta, in New Delhi, India. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
Gulshan suneja, father of Bhavye Suneja, a pilot of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, is consoled before he leaves for Jakarta, in New Delhi, India. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
Rescue team members arrange the wreckage, showing part of the logo of Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Stringer
Rescue team members arrange the wreckage, showing part of the logo of Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Stringer
Rescue team members prepare to dive at the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea, in the north coast of Karawang regency, West java province, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Rescue team members prepare to dive at the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea, in the north coast of Karawang regency, West java province, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Rescue team members on an inflatable raft head to the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea, in the north coast off Karawang regency, West Java province Indonesia. October 301, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Rescue team members on an inflatable raft head to the location where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea, in the north coast off Karawang regency, West Java province Indonesia. October 301, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Rescue workers lay out recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Rescue workers lay out recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A rescue worker looks at an identity card among the recobvered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A rescue worker looks at an identity card among the recobvered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Relatives of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 wait at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A relative of a passenger on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 cries as she arrives at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A relative of a passenger on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 cries as she arrives at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People, who are family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, arrive at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People, who are family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, arrive at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman, who is family of passengers on the crashed Lion Air flight JT610, cries at Bhayangkara R. Said Sukanto hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Published : October 30, 2018 12:29 PM IST
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