Divers searching for the wreckage of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 have found the main fuselage and claim they can now hear a signal from the aircraft’s missing cockpit voice recorder, the head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency said Saturday.
Diving teams are working to locate the device, commonly known as a black box, which could help investigators piece together the final moments of the brand-new Boeing 737 before it crashed, killing all 189 people on board.
The plane’s flight data recorder was located Thursday, but investigators say they have not yet been able to extract any information from it.
Muhammad Syaugi, head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, Basarnas, told reporters in Jakarta on Saturday that divers had now heard a “ping” from the second black box.
“Although the sound is quite weak, it came from the spot not far from the ship ‘Victory,’” he added, referring to one of the vessels involved in the search effort.
Syaugi said he had “received information that we found the fuselage” from the team on location, although he had not yet seen it himself. More than 100 divers are currently working in different zones conducting various searches, he added.
The fast-moving currents and muddy waters of the crash site in the Java Sea have hindered recovery efforts since the plane came down Monday shortly after taking off from Jakarta.
News of progress in the search effort followed confirmation earlier Saturday that one of the divers involved in the search for victims and wreckage from the flight had died.
Syahrul Anto, 48, was found unconscious Friday after his diving partner noticed he had disappeared, said Syaugi. He was immediately brought back to shore and was attended by doctors but Syaugi said that “God had a different plan.”
Anto was a qualified, senior diver “who devoted his life for our country,” Syaugi said.
Syaugi, who is responsible for the diving team, said those involved “are very qualified divers, outstanding divers, with long experience. They are come from Navy special task forces, from the police, from the Basarnas team, and some are volunteers from diving clubs.”