Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Sriwijaya Air-Pontianak Office will fly 13 other family members of passengers of the Sriwijaya Air SJ-182 plane that crashed into sea shortly after take-off on January 9, 2021, to join those arriving earlier in Jakarta.

"If no hurdles are encountered, we are flying 13 other family members from Pontianak City to Jakarta on Wednesday," Sriwijaya Air-Pontianak Office's District Manager, Faisal Rahman, stated on Tuesday.

If they all were to depart for Jakarta on Wednesday as scheduled, the Sriwijaya Air-Pontinak Office would have flown 26 family members of those aboard the ill-fated aircraft since it crashed on Saturday (Jan 9), he remarked.

As of Tuesday, 55 family members represent the 22 passengers of the Sriwijaya Air SJ-182 plane that crashed into the waters of Thousand Islands shortly after taking off from Jakarta to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, he revealed.

While in Jakarta, the family members are staying at a hotel in order to obtain the latest information on the authorities' efforts to haul human remains and debris from the waters and to locate and retrieve the plane's black boxes.

The family members were scheduled to meet with officials of the National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT), he noted.

Meanwhile, as of Monday afternoon, Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team members at the Medical and Health Center of the National Police Hospital had received 53 DNA samples from the families of victims of the Sriwijaya Air plane crash.

On Tuesday at 4 p.m. local time, the cockpit voice and flight data recorders of the ill-fated Boeing 737-500 jet, carrying 50 passengers and 12 crew members, had successfully been retrieved.

According to Kompas TV, the aircraft's black boxes were located on the seabed, 23 meters below the surface of the waters between the islands of Laki and Lancang and retrieved by the Indonesian Navy's divers.

The devices were then moved to the navy's sea rider boat to be transported to the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. From the JICT, the black boxes were handed over to the KNKT officials for examination.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan affirmed that the recent plane crash had become an impetus for the government to improve the domestic aircraft maintenance system.

"This is a tragedy. Hence, in my opinion, we will continue to improve the maintenance of our aircraft," the minister noted in his remarks at the online launch of the Proud of Indonesian Products movement on Monday.

Pandjaitan expressed condolences over the crash of Sriwijaya Air SJ-182 plane. He also took the time to lead prayers for the victims during his remarks at the event.

The Transportation Ministry earlier confirmed that airport authorities had lost contact with Sriwijaya Air flight number SJ-182, serving the Jakarta-Pontianak route, at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday.

The ministry stated that last contact was made with the Boeing 737-500 jet, bearing registration number PK CLC, at 11 nautical miles, north of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, after reaching an altitude of 11 thousand feet and while ascending to 13 thousand feet.

The plane had headed from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday and was scheduled to land at the Supadio Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, at 3:50 p.m. local time.

Related news: Navy divers retrieve black box of crashed Sriwijaya Air plane

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Translator: Andilala, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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