"In the last evaluation, the joint SAR team found no more bodies. That is the basis for which the search operation was stopped," Basarnas Operations Director Bambang Suryo Aji said here on Saturday.
The last search operation was narrowed to a 250-meter radius after the SAR team no longer found bodies of victims and debris of the crashed plane outside the radius, he said.
During their 13 days of search operation, the SAR team had collected bodies of the plane crash victims in 196 bags, he said.
"Based on Basarnas` standard operating procedure, search operation lasts for seven days and can be extended for another three days. Right now the search operation has been extended for the second three days and no more bodies of victims have been found," he explained.
Basarnas Chief Muhammad Syaugi said earlier the concentrated search operation has been halted as of Saturday at 03.30 p.m. local time.
"The concentrated search operation was closed today. However, the Search and Rescue Offices in Jakarta and Bandung will remain on standby round the clock," Syaugi said in a press conference at the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) 2.
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 on Oct 29.
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.
Reporting by Dewanto Samodro
Editing by Suharto, Andi Abdussalam
(T.SYS/A/S012/C/A014) 11-11-2018 10:05:09