Rescuers gather debris of crashed plane and body parts of the victims (Photo: VNA)
 
Jakarta (VNA) – Tanjung Priok port has been one of the four centres handling the debris of the Indonesian Lion Air carrier which crashed into the sea off the coast of Karawang in Indonesia’s West Java province on October 29, killing 189 people on board.

The other centres are Soekarno Hatta and Halim airports and the National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.

On the evening of November 1, the first ship arrived at the Tanjung Priok harbour with debris of the crashed plane and body parts of the victims, which have been handed over to the National Police Hospital.

Ari, a staff member of the Indonesian Red Cross, told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent that about 50 Red Cross workers and 13 specialised trucks await the ships from Karawang everyday.

According to head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Muhammad Syaugi, divers on November 1 used a remotely operated underwater vehicle to locate landing gear; larger parts of the crashed aircraft, including some parts of the fuselage; and parts of several dead bodies on the seabed.

Earlier the same day, the aircraft’s black box data recorder was detected among debris in the mud on the sea floor at a depth of 32.5m.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of the National Transportation Safety Committee, said a preliminary accident report should be released within a month with the final report possibly taking up four to six months.

The jet, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route from Jakarta to Pangkakpinang in Bangka Belitung province off Sumatra island. It lost contact with air traffic control just 13 minutes after takeoff.

The incident is reported to be the first major accident involving a Boeing 737 Max – an updated version of the 737.

The Lion Air crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died after a Garuda flight crashed near Medan.–VNA