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Indonesia finds body parts, debris at Boeing plane crash site

Indonesian Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search and rescue operation at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Indonesian divers have located parts of the wreckage of a Boeing passenger plane that crashed shortly after takeoff on Saturday, as rescue teams recovered body parts and debris near the crash site off the coast of Jakarta.

The Sriwijaya Airline Flight SJ 182, which had 62 people on board and was bound for the city of Pontianak on the island of Borneo, crashed into the sea on Saturday afternoon after a one-hour delay due to heavy monsoon rainfall.

Boeing acknowledged the crash of the 737-500 plane in a statement on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customers and stand ready to support them during this difficult time.” 

Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities urged close family members to provide photos, films, and DNA samples, as well as dental and medical records of the passengers to speed up the identification process of the remains.

“As of this morning, we've received two (body) bags, one with passenger belongings and the other with body parts,” Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus told local news channel Metro TV on Sunday.

Head of the National Search and Rescue (SAR) Agency, Bagus Puruhito, said, “These pieces were found by the SAR team between Lancang Island and Laki Island” in the Java Sea. 

Meanwhile, the search continues for the missing passengers and more debris from the crashed Boeing jet. 

Indonesian Navy officers continue the search for more debris from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182, January 10, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Even though the cause of the crash has yet to be determined, aviation experts believe the crash was likely the result of a design flaw in the Boeing airliner. 

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. 

Another 737 MAX 8 jetliner crashed in Ethiopia five months later and killed 149 people, leading to the grounding of the MAX 8 for 20 months.

Following a legal investigation into the flagship US company, Boeing was ruled to pay some $2.5 billion to resolve criminal charges linked to the two deadly crashes.

Boeing’s employees were accused of deceiving authorities by concealing material information from the Federal Aviation Administration concerning the 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception.

The compensation payments will have no impact on ongoing civil litigation against Boeing by relatives of crash victims, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, who noted that the settlement would only strengthen their cases against the company.

In their investigation, federal regulators found that Boeing repeatedly misled FAA monitors and knowingly submitted the MAX for final certification even after concluding that some of its safety software and parts were defective.

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