Lion Air crash search called off

In­done­sia ends ef­forts to re­cover re­mains af­ter two weeks

The Star Malaysia - - World -

JAKARTA:

In­done­sia called off the search for pas­sen­gers of a Lion Air plane, al­most two weeks af­ter the jet­liner plunged into the Java Sea killing 189 peo­ple on board.

Some 196 bags con­tain­ing body parts have been re­cov­ered from un­der the wa­ter with 79 vic­tims iden­ti­fied and handed over to their fam­i­lies for burial.

“Since yes­ter­day af­ter­noon un­til to­day we have not found any more vic­tims and there­fore I de­clare the search and res­cue op­er­a­tion is over,” Muham­mad Syaugi, head of the search and res­cue agency, told re­porters yes­ter­day.

“We apol­o­gise to the pub­lic, es­pe­cially the fam­i­lies of vic­tims if dur­ing the op­er­a­tion we were not able to sat­isfy ev­ery­body,” he added.

Res­cuers have also re­trieved parts of the plane’s en­gines, wheels and seats from the sea. One diver died help­ing with the search.

Lion Air has be­gun pay­ing US$102,058 (RM427,000) com­pen­sa­tion money for each pas­sen­ger to the griev­ing fam­i­lies.

In­done­sian Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Com­mit­tee has re­trieved one of the black boxes – the flight data recorder – and is still hunt­ing for the cock­pit voice recorder, which recorded the last con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the pi­lot and co-pi­lot be­fore the crash. The doomed jet was a Boe­ing 737Max 8, one of the world’s newest and most ad­vanced com­mer­cial pas­sen­ger planes.

The govern­ment has or­dered a check on all Boe­ing 737-Max 8 fleets and con­ducted a spe­cial au­dit on Lion Air man­age­ment.

The trans­porta­tion min­istry has also re­moved sev­eral ex­ec­u­tives and tech­ni­cal staff from the air­line to help with the ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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