JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation’s National Transportation Safety Committee [KNKT] announced that it found the approximate location where Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ 182 went down off Jakarta on Saturday, January 9.
62 passengers and crew were on board the Boeing 737-500 when it lost contact with air traffic controllers at Soekarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang, Banten.
“Flight SJ 182 approximately went down between the Thousand Islands’ Laki and Lancang Islands,” said KNKT head Soerjanto Tjahjono.
“[The National Search and Rescue Agency or Basarnas] are already on the way to the site. The KNKT will assess the waters on Sunday to determine what sort of equipment are needed for the underwater recovery [of Flight SJ 182].”
Soerjanto added that the conditions brought other challenges. “The reason why Flight SJ 182’s emergency location transmitter [ELT] did not transmit was because it was destroyed by the impact of the crash,” he noted.
“The ELT was not designed to withstand strong impact [from crashes].”
Basarnas head Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito agreed. “The ELT did not transmit any emergency signals when it lost contact. It is designed to do so, but it never did.”
Indonesian Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi backed the possibility that the ELT did not survive the impact of the crash.
He noted that “[Air Traffic Controllers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport] authorized Flight SJ 182 to an altitude of 29 thousand feet three minutes before it lost contact at 2.40 pm,” he said.
The Ministry of Transportation’s patrol boats have found parts of a plane fuselage near the estimated site of the crash, which happened in a rainstorm. Fishermen in the Thousand Islands heard the impact, which they likened to “a sound like thunder.”
The Indonesian Navy also joined the search for Flight SJ 182. “The Navy has deployed 10 warships to look for Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ 182,” said Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid.
"Four of them are already en route to the site of the crash, with at least one vessel, the Kurau 856, already arriving in the area."
The Indonesian Air Force also deployed aircraft from its bases in Jakarta and Makassar, South Sulawesi to search for Flight SJ 182. “The units included a NAS-332 Super Puma helicopter and EC-725 fixed-wing aircraft,” said Air Force Commodore Indan Gilang.
Sriwijaya Air Flight SJY 182 was heading from Jakarta to Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan province, when it lost contact in the Thousand Islands’ Laki and Lancang islands.
(Writers: Ihsanuddin, Wahyu Adityo Prodjo, Ardito Ramadhan | Editors: Rindi Nuris Velarosdela, Robertus Belarminus, Icha Rastika)
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