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Families of some Lion Air Crash Victims Holds Rally in Jakarta

On Thursday, December 13, a protest was held by families of some of the 189 people killed in the recent Lion Air crash. The airline has postponed their efforts to bring the main wreckage to the surface and locate the second black box, but will continue next week.

On October 29, 2018, the Boeing Co 737 Max jet crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta. So far, only 30 percent of the plane’s body has been found, and the remains of 64 passengers have yet to be identified.

The rally was attended by 30 people and took place outside the presidential palace in Jakarta. Protesters were calling for Lion Air to put safety over profit and for President Joko Widodo to ensure the remains are recovered.

A specialised ship will be used to help lift the main wreckage of flight JT 610 and give investigators a better chance of finding the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) in a search that has lacked sophisticated equipment for the last month.

Indonesia’s national transport panel said the vessel was due to arrive on Monday.

The airline will be paying the US$2.8 million rental fee for the vessel for the first 10 days because the government does not have the budget.

“Funds for the CVR search will be borne by Lion Air which has signed a contract for a ship from a Singaporean company,” a finance ministry spokesman told Reuters.

Moreover, family members are seeking daily updates from Lion Air on the search, according to a letter addressed to Mr Joko and distributed by the group at the rally. They have also asked Lion Air for financial assistance so they could stay in Jakarta during the search, and for immediate compensation in line with regulations. They also want the government to ensure Lion Air keeps its promises.

Safety experts say it is unusual for one of the parties to help fund an investigation, required by UN rules to be independent, so as to ensure trust in any safety recommendations made.

The clock is ticking in the hunt for acoustic pings coming from the L3 Technologies Inc cockpit voice recorder fitted to the jet. It has a 90-day beacon, the manufacturer’s online brochure shows.

The flight data recorder was retrieved three days after the crash, providing insight into aircraft systems and crew inputs, although the cause has yet to be determined.

Source: Straits Times

Photo: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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