After retrieving six bodies from the sea where an Indonesian passenger plane crashed near Jakarta Monday, search and rescue officials say they fear there will be no survivors.
Lion Air flight JT 610 was carrying 189 people, including three children, when it disappeared from radar just 13 minutes after takeoff, according to Basarnas, Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency.
The plane, a new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was carrying 181 passengers, as well as six cabin crew members and two pilots. It was bound for Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.
“My prediction is that no one survived because we only managed to retrieve body parts. It has been a few hours since the crash so it is possible all 189 people were killed,” Bambang Suryo Aji, director of operations for Basarnas, said in a news conference.
As many as 21 body bags have been transported to a hospital in east Jakarta for identification as rescue workers continue to search the sea. The bags contained human remains, debris from the airplane and personal items belonging to the victims, according Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue agency. Six bodies were recovered earlier in the day and taken to the same hospital.
Aji said that rescue workers had found debris appearing to be the plane’s tail. The main wreckage had still not been located.
Search and rescue teams were working against high waves and strong currents, in an area spanning 150 nautical miles, added Aji. Underwater robots were being used in the search effort.