[UPDATE] 24 bodies found but still no sign of Lion Air plane wreckage
A search and rescue team has recovered 24 bodies from the ocean following the recent Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia. However, the plane wreckage has yet to be found.
"We need to find the main wreckage," Bambang Suryo, operational director of the Search and Rescue Agency (SAR), told reporters, according to Gulf Business.
"I predict there are no survivors, based on body parts found so far."
A round-the-clock search is underway for the remaining 165 passengers and crew who were on-board the ill-fated aircraft
19 vessels and three helicopters are involved in the search.
Authorities said that they are focusing on several areas off the Java coast where they hope to find the plane and most of the victims.
Meanwhile, the recovered bodies have been sent to the hospital for identification.
29 Oct, 5pm No survivors of the Lion Air plane crash have been found
Human bodies and personal belongings have been discovered following a Lion Air plane crash early this morning, 29 October.
Indonesian authorities are currently examining the plane debris, which carried all 189 passengers, including six crew members and two pilots.
CNN reported that 250 rescuers, including divers, are currently working at the crash site to find the bodies.
The plane was a new model and had only been used for two months
Lion Air's chief executive officer Edward Sirait said that the same plane had a "technical issue" on Sunday night, but had been cleared to fly on Monday.
He added that the pilot had carried out all pre-flight inspections according to procedure.
Speaking to reporters at Lion Air's headquarters in Jakarta, Sirait said the pilots had passed mandatory drug screening.
The cause of the crash is yet to be determined.
29 OCT, 11.16am An Indonesian passenger plane from Indonesia has crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta this morning, 29 October
According to Indonesian authorities, the Lion Air flight was headed to Pangkal Pinang when it lost contact with air traffic control at 7.50am local time this morning.
"It has been confirmed that it has crashed," said Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the agency, reported Reuters.
According to The Guardian, reports from Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta revealed that debris from the plane have been found.
It is believed that the plane was carrying 188 people, including crew
"We don't know yet whether there are any survivors," Muhmmad Syaugi, head of the search and rescue agency told a news conference. "We hope, we pray, but we cannot confirm."
Chief executive of Lion Air Group Edward Sirait said, "We are trying to collect all the information and data," reported Reuters.
The plane was initially reported to have gone missing
Indonesia's air navigation spokesman Yohanes Sirait, said that the Boeing-737 Max 8 aircraft had reportedly requested to return to base and the traffic control allowed it.
However, the plane then lost contact 13 minutes after it took off from Indonesia's capital city.
Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro initially said: "We can confirm that one of our flights has lost contact, its position cannot be ascertained yet."
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