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Indonesian investigators examine black box from crashed jet

Updated November 02, 2018

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Earlier distraught family of passengers gather at Pangkal Pinang airport, where the plane had been headed. ─ AFP/File Photo
Earlier distraught family of passengers gather at Pangkal Pinang airport, where the plane had been headed. ─ AFP/File Photo

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities said they would immediately begin examining a damaged black box retrieved on Thursday from the sunken wreckage of a Lion Air jet that crashed off Jakarta this week, killing all 189 people on board.

Indonesia’s second-deadliest air disaster since 1997 has prompted renewed concern about its patchy safety record, and the government has said Lion Air will be regulated more closely.

The investigation of the first crash of a Boeing Co 737 MAX, introduced into commercial service last year, will also be scrutinised by the global aviation industry.

“Tonight we will move as quickly as possible to download what is in this black box,” Haryo Satmiko, deputy chief of Indonesia’s transportation safety committee (KNKT), told a news conference.

The extent of damage to the device showed the “extraordinary impact” of the crash, he said.

Despite initial reports, authorities did not know for certain whether the “crash survivable memory unit” was from the flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder, as portions of it were missing, Satmiko said.

Did a video show the last moments aboard

A video purporting to show panicked passengers aboard an Indonesian Lion Air plane before it crashed into the sea has gone viral with millions of views on social media, and been rep­orted as fact by multiple news outlets around the world.

The video is not from the ill-fated plane, which had 189 people on board, but an earlier flight in Indonesia that did not crash.

Within hours of the plane going missing a video began circulating online claiming to show passengers inside a darkened cabin calling out: “Allahu akbar”, or “God is greater”, and other Islamic verses as the plane apparently was out of control.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2018

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