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Divers recover black box from crashed Indonesia plane

The Boeing 737-500 crashed into the ocean shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Saturday.

Investigators of the National Transportation Safety Committee inspect parts of the aircraft’s debris recovered from the Java Sea.
Investigators of the National Transportation Safety Committee inspect parts of the aircraft’s debris recovered from the Java Sea.
Image: PA

INDONESIAN NAVY DIVERS searching the ocean floor have recovered a black box from a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea with 62 people on board.

The recovery of the device is expected to help investigators determine what caused the Boeing 737-500 plane to nosedive into the ocean shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Saturday.

TV stations today showed divers on an inflatable vessel with a large white container containing the black box.

It was unclear whether the device was the plane’s flight data or cockpit voice recorder.

It is to be handed over to the National Transportation Safety Committee, which is overseeing the crash investigation.

A navy ship earlier picked up intense pings being emitted from the two recorders. They were buried in seabed mud under tons of sharp objects in the wreckage, navy chief admiral Yudo Margono said.

He said at least 160 divers were deployed today in the search for the devices.

More than 3,600 rescue personnel, 13 helicopters, 54 large ships and 20 small boats are searching the area just north of Jakarta where Flight 182 crashed and have found parts of the plane and human remains in the water at a depth of 23 metres.

indonesia-plane-crash Indonesian Navy Divers with parts of the aircraft recovered from the Java Sea. Source: Tatan Syuflana

So far, the searchers have sent 74 body bags containing human remains to police identification experts who yesterday said they had identified their first victim, 29-year-old flight attendant Okky Bisma.

His wife, Aldha Refa, who is also a flight attendant for Sriwijaya Air, shared her grief in a series of posts on social media.

“My husband is a loving, devout and super kind man,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Heaven is your place, dear … be peaceful there.”

Family members have been providing samples for DNA tests and police say results are expected in four to eight days.

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embedded257500860 Indonesian Navy Divers during the search for wreckage of the crashed flight. Source: PA

National Police spokesman Rusdi Hartono said about 53 samples for DNA testing have been collected but more are still needed, especially from parents and children of victims.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said the US National Transportation Safety Board will join in investigating the crash.

The NTSC chairman, Soerjanto Tjahjono, ruled out a possible mid-air break-up after seeing the condition of the wreckage found by searchers.

He said the jet was intact until it struck the water, concentrating the debris field, rather than spreading it out over a large area as would be seen with a mid-air event.

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