Indonesia plane crash: Senior rescue diver dies in search of passenger jet

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Indonesia plane crash: Senior rescue diver dies in search of passenger jet Navy divers prepare to dive as they conduct recovery operations on the Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

An Indonesian rescue diver died in the search for a passenger jet that crashed early this week near Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board, the search and rescue agency (Basarnas) said on Saturday. Syachrul Anto, 48, died on Friday while diving to search for victims of the crashed Lion (Air) aircraft,” the agency said on Saturday via its Instagram account sar_nasional.

“Deepest condolences for the passing of a humanitarian hero from the Indonesian Diving Rescue Team,” Basarnas chief Syaugi said in a news release. Anto died at around 4 p.m. on Friday, it said.

Read | Pilot radioed alert on doomed Indonesian jet’s previous flight

It was not immediately clear how Anto perished. Anto’s family had chosen not to conduct an autopsy and asked for his remains to be buried immediately, Basarnas spokesman Yusuf Latif told Reuters by text message. Among other missions, Anto was also one of the main divers involved in the search for an AirAsia jet that crashed off Borneo in late 2014, he said. Rescue divers have played critical roles in recovering human remains for identification and finding out what happened to the near-new Boeing Co. 737 MAX that crashed early on Monday into the Java Sea, 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta.

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Besides Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air were also upgraded to the same tier. (AP)Besides Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air were also upgraded to the same tier. (AP) Besides Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air were also upgraded to the same tier. (AP)

As of Saturday a total of 73 body bags, few containing intact remains, had been recovered from the site.

Divers have been searching for a second black box from the jet, as investigators try to get data from a partly damaged recorder recovered from sunken wreckage on Thursday.

The pilot of flight JT610 had asked for, and received, permission to turn back to Jakarta, but what went wrong remains a mystery.

Read | 189 killed, grief echoes in pilot’s Delhi home

“The team have been hearing the ‘ping’ sound from another black box for two days,” Soerjanto Tjahjono told Reuters.

Indonesia plane crash search finds remains, debris at seaIndonesia plane crash search finds remains, debris at sea In this file photo, a wallet belonging to a victim of the Lion Air passenger jet that crashed is seen in the waters of Ujung Karawang, West Java, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

The sea is only 30 m (98 ft) deep at the crash site but strong currents and nearby pipelines have hampered the search. While victims’ relatives are desperate to know what happened, the investigation of the first crash of a Boeing 737 MAX is also the focus of scrutiny by the global aviation industry. Results of a preliminary investigation will be made public after 30 days, one official on the investigation team said. Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets but its safety record has been patchy. Its transport safety panel investigated 137 serious aviation incidents from 2012 to 2017.

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