Jakarta: An Indonesian diver has died while taking part in an operation to find victims and debris of a Lion Air aircraft that crashed into the sea with 189 people on board, a rescue leader said yesterday.
Syahrul Anto was found in the sea, unconscious, on Friday and was declared dead in hospital, said Bayu Wardoyo, head of the Indonesian rescue diver team.
A navy officer said Syahrul might have died because of uncontrolled decompression.
The Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 plunged into the sea on Monday about 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, killing all 181 passengers and eight crew members.
National Search and Rescue head Muhammad Syaugi said divers had spotted the aircraft’s fuselage. “I haven’t seen the pictures, but I have been told they have seen the fuselage.
“We have made major discoveries. The two engines have been found.”
Search teams on Friday retrieved the aircraft’s broken landing gear after recovering the flight data recorder a day earlier.
Search teams are still looking for the cockpit voice recorder, which records conversations in the cockpit, while the flight data recorder tracks flight data such as airspeed, pressure altitude and vertical acceleration. Data from the recorders could shed light on the cause of the crash.
Lion Air has confirmed reports that the aircraft logged “unreliable” readings of altitude and airspeed on its previous flight, the night before it crashed. But the company said the issues had been resolved before Monday’s flight.
Monday’s crash was the second deadly accident involving a Lion Air plane in 14 years.
In 2004, the airline’s McDonnell Douglas MD-82 overshot the runway of the airport in the central Java city of Solo and crashed into a cemetery, killing 25 people. DPA