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Indonesia crash: Rescue diver dies as fuselage discovered

November 3, 2018

A rescue worker has perished after helping recover body parts from the wreckage of a jet that went down off Indonesia. Divers have also located the plane's fuselage, which may reveal more about the cause of the crash.

Emergency workers carry pieces of a crashed Lion Air jet
Image: Reuters/W. Kurniawan

A 48-year-old volunteer has died while recovering human remains from the wreckage of Lion Air Flight 610, officials confirmed on Saturday. Syachrul Anto was part of a diving team searching for body parts from the ill-fated jet, which crashed into the Java Sea on Monday.

Anto was found unconscious by other members of the team and taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead, reportedly due to complications from uncontrolled decompression.

National Search and Rescue head Muhammad Syaugi also confirmed on Saturday that divers had located the airplane's fuselage.

"I haven't seen the pictures, but I have been told they have seen the fuselage," Syaugi said.

"We have also made some major discoveries. The two engines have been found," he added.

Questions over technical faults

The almost-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 plummeted into the water on October 29 only 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta's Soekarno airport, en route to Pangkal Pinang on Bangka Island. All 181 passengers and eight crew members lost their lives.

Questions have arisen over why the aircraft was allowed to fly after it logged "unreliable" readings of altitude and airspeed on its previous flight the night before it crashed. Lion Air has maintained that the issues had been resolved and that both the pilot and co-pilot were highly experienced employees.

As air travel has become cheaper, it's also become a key mode of transport for those moving between Indonesia's thousands of islands. The archipelago has been the site of multiple fatal crashes in the past decade, and last year Indonesia's air traffic controllers' association announced that the rate of takeoffs and landings permitted in Jakarta was larger than the airport's capacity, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Searchers have been able to locate the flight's black box, which logs altitude and airspeed, but not the cockpit voice recorder.

es/tj (AFP, dpa)

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