Search for Lion Air JT 610 victims stopped

Search for Lion Air JT 610 victims stopped

Bodies of victims of crashed Lion Air JT 610 plane arrive in the evacuation command post at JICT 2 pier in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, (ANTARA/Desi Purnamawati)

Jakarta,  (ANTARA News) - The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has stopped searching for bodies of victims of crashed Lion Air Flight JT 610 in West Java`s Tanjung Karawang waters.

"The concentrated search operation was closed today. However, the Search and Rescue Offices in Jakarta and Bandung will remain on standby round the clock," Basarnas Chief Muhammad Syaugi said in a press conference at the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) 2 on Saturday.

The SAR offices in Jakarta and Bandung are ready to work if they receive information on the find of victims, he said.

The joint SAR team had made maximum efforts for 13 days, he said adding Basarnas decided to stop the search operation after evaluating it.

"We do apologize to the public, particularly relatives of victims if the evacuation effort does not satisfy all sides," he said.

By Saturday, the joint SAR team has collected 196 body bags. According to the flight manifest, the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX plane carried 189 people including crew members.

Spokesman for the Indonesian Police Senior Commissioner Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono stated on Thursday the police have identified 51 victims of the Lion Air JT 610 plane, 11 days after the aircraft crashed into the waters.

He said the number of body bags was not indicative of the number of bodies found by the SAR team, as each bag might contain body parts of different victims.

The aircraft plunged into Tanjung Karawang waters nearly 15 minutes after it took off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport en route to Tanjung Pinang, capital of Bangka Belitung province on Oct 29.

Reporting by Dewanto Samodro
Editing by Suharto. Andi Abdussalam