JAKARTA, Indonesia authorities extended on Wednesday a search for victims of a plane crash last week, when all 189 on board a Lion Air flight were killed, and for the aircraft's second black box, the cockpit voice recorder.
The nearly new Boeing Co. 737 MAX passenger plane slammed into the sea on Oct. 29, only minutes after takeoff from Jakarta en route to Bangka island near Sumatra.
"We have extended the operation for three more days," Muhammad Syaugi, the head of the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas),said.
It was the second time the search has been extended.
But he said search teams from the military, police and others would stand down, leaving just his agency to press on.
"This operation has been running for 10 days and the results from combing the sea surface and the sea bed are declining, therefore the resources of Basarnas should be sufficient," Syaugi told a news conference.
Basarnas had 220 personnel, including 60 divers, as well as four ships involved in the search and were focussing on an area with a radius of 250 metres (273 yards), he said.
A police official said 186 body bags containing human remains had been retrieved and 44 victims identified after forensic examination.
Authorities have downloaded data from one of the black boxes found last week, the flight data recorder, but are still looking for the cockpit voice recorder
A "ping" has been detected from the second black box but the signal was very weak, possibly because it was encased in mud," said Nurcahyo Utomo, an air accident official at the transportation safety committee (KNKT).
A vessel capable of sucking up mud was likely to be brought in to help, he told a news conference. -- NNN-AGENCIES
Source: NAM News Network