Indonesia expands search for plane crash victims

Search for aircraft’s main body, victims covers an area of 10 nautical miles in Lion Air plane crash

Indonesia expands search for plane crash victims

Indonesia has expanded the search area for Monday's plane crash victims, the country's 's rescue authority said on Tuesday.

The search area -- which was initially five nautical miles (9.26 kilometers) from Tanjung Karawang -- has been expanded to 10 nautical miles (18.52 km), National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Chief Muhammad Syaugi said in Jakarta.

The team carries out a search to find the victims of Lion Air flight JT-601 plane, which crashed into the sea off the Karawang regency, West Java province in Indonesia shortly after taking off.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane was flying from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang at 06.10 local time (2330GMT Sunday) but lost contact with the air traffic controllers about 13 minutes after it took off.

The plane was carrying 189 people, including 181 passengers and eight flight crew.

“By now, Basarnas has taken out dead bodies, body parts, airplane debris and personal belongings in 26 body bags,” Syaugi said.

According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, the weather was fair within the search area.

Basarnas has deployed 150 personnel, including a team of 30 divers, while the Indonesian Military and National Police also deployed 150 personnel.

Currently, the divers have been searching down to a depth of 35 meters. A multibeam echosounder also keeps up to track the wreckage.