Lion Air: Crashed Indonesian plane's black box found

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Ground staff lost contact with flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air 13 minutes after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft took off early on Monday, October 29, from the airport in Jakarta, the capital, on its way to Indonesia's tin-mining region.

Indonesia's Transport Ministry has ordered a review of all low-priced airlines in the country and suspended staff linked to the Lion Air flight that crashed on Monday killing the 189 people aboard.

While there is no sign of survivors, rescuers have recovered some bodies and personal items, including baby shoes, the report said.

The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died in the crash of a Garuda flight near Medan.

The airline's uneven safety record, including another crash at sea with no deaths in 2013, led the US and the European Union to ban the airline from their airspace.

The navy said the aircraft's fuselage was also seen on the seafloor during recovery of the device, about 1,640 feet northwest of where the plane lost contact with air traffic personnel and at a depth of almost 100 feet.

"Hopefully this morning we can find the wreckage or fuselage", Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of a national transport safety panel, told Reuters, adding that underwater "pinger locators", including equipment from Singapore, were being deployed to help find the aircraft's black boxes.

It is most likely that this black box is the flight data recorder (FDR). Transport officials do not yet know whether the retrieved device is the flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder.

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Personnel from Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Board examining debris from the downed Lion Air flight in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday.

The Lion Air JT610 Jakarta-Pangkal Pinang flight carrying 181 passengers and eight crew members crashed into the waters of Tanjung Karawang, West Java shortly after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 6.20am on Monday.

The plane had showed signs of technical problems the day before the catastrophic crash during a flight from Bali.

Aji said that search and rescue teams have been working against high waves and strong currents, in an area spanning about 150 nautical miles. Safety experts cautioned, however, that the data must be checked for accuracy against the plane's so-called black boxes, if they are recovered.

The cause of the crash has yet to be established, but questions have been raised after Lion Air admitted the plane had an unspecified technical issue on a previous flight.

Relatives wait for the news of the forensics inspection at the Police Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lion Air says the newly purchased Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed had only come into service in August. This saw Indonesian airlines temporarily banned from flying to European countries.

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