Body parts and debris found after Indonesia plane crash

Indonesian rescuers pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea on Sunday morning, a day after a Boeing 737-500 with 62 people on board crashed soon after take-off from Jakarta, officials said.

Authorities were hopeful they were honing in on the wreckage of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 after sonar equipment detected a signal from the aircraft.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters that officials had launched massive search efforts after identifying "the possible location of the crash site".

"These pieces were found by the SAR team between Lancang Island and Laki Island," National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Bagus Puruhito said in a statement.

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Indonesian Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search and rescue operation at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021, after the Boeing 737-500 crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta airport on January 9. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture shows recovered debris at the port in Jakarta on January 10, 2021, during the search operation for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 which crashed after takeoff from Jakarta on January 9. (Photo by Dany Krisnadhi / AFP) (Photo by DANY KRISNADHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Health workers test a rescue worker for the Covid-19 coronavirus at the port in Jakarta on January 10, 2021, as part of the ongoing search operation for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 which crashed after takeoff from Jakarta on January 9. (Photo by Dany Krisnadhi / AFP) (Photo by DANY KRISNADHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Police helicopters conduct search operations at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021, where a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 is suspected to have crashed shortly after the jet took off from Jakarta airport on January 9. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)
Indonesian Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search and rescue operation at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021, after the Boeing 737-500 crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta airport on January 9. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 10: Indonesia's Military Commander Hadi Tjahjanto (C) holds a press conference regarding crashed Sriwijaya airplane with flight number SJ 182 at Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta, Indonesia on January 10, 2021. (Photo by Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Search and rescue teams conduct operations at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021, where a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 is suspected to have crashed shortly after the jet took off from Jakarta airport on January 9. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 10: Search and rescue operation continue after Indonesian Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 Boeing 737 crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday (9/1) at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 10, 2021. The Indonesian transportation ministry said Sriwijaya Air flight from Jakarta to Pontianak carry more than 60 people the last contact was 2:40 local time. The 26-year-old plane taking off amid heavy monsoon season rain after a bad weather delay. (Photo by Mahmut Atanur/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 10: Search and rescue operation continue after Indonesian Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 Boeing 737 crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday (9/1) at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 10, 2021. The Indonesian transportation ministry said Sriwijaya Air flight from Jakarta to Pontianak carry more than 60 people the last contact was 2:40 local time. The 26-year-old plane taking off amid heavy monsoon season rain after a bad weather delay. (Photo by Mahmut Atanur/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 10: Search and rescue operation continue after Indonesian Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 Boeing 737 crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday (9/1) at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 10, 2021. The Indonesian transportation ministry said Sriwijaya Air flight from Jakarta to Pontianak carry more than 60 people the last contact was 2:40 local time. The 26-year-old plane taking off amid heavy monsoon season rain after a bad weather delay. (Photo by Mahmut Atanur/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Members of a search and rescue team conduct operations at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021, where a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 is suspected to have crashed shortly after the jet took off from Jakarta airport on January 9. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)
Rescuers carry a bag of parts recovered from the crash site, in the port of Jakarta on January 10, 2021, after Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 crashed after takeoff from Jakarta. - An Indonesian budget airline with 62 people on board is suspected to have crashed into the sea shortly after the Boeing 737 took off from Jakarta airport on January 9, authorities said. (Photo by Dany Krisnadhi / AFP) (Photo by DANY KRISNADHI/AFP via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 10: Officers from The National Search and Rescue Agency of Indonesia (BASARNAS) check a fragment of Indonesian Sriwijaya Airlines with flight number SJ182 crashed into the Java Sea at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 10, 2021. (Photo by Azwar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
SOEKARNO HATTA, TANGERANG, JANUARY 9 : Sriwijaya Air President Director Jefferson Irwin Jauwena when giving an explanation of the Sriwijaya Air SJ 182 aircraft that lost contact in the waters of the Thousand Islands on January 9, 2021. The post was established to provide information for the families of victims of the Sriwijaya Air SJ 182 aircraft on the Jakarta-Pontianak route, which until now still lost contact. (Photo by Dasril Roszandi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 09: Relatives of passengers on Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 leave the crisis centre in Soekarno Hatta Airport, on January 09, 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182, carrying 62 people on board a flight from Indonesia’s capital to Pontianak, Indonesia, lost contact with air controllers shortly after take-off and is believed to have crashed into the waters off the coast of Jakarta (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 09: Relatives of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 arrive at the crisis centre in Soekarno Hatta Airport, on January 09, 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182, carrying 62 people on board a flight from Indonesia’s capital to Pontianak, Indonesia, lost contact with air controllers shortly after take-off and is believed to have crashed into the waters off the coast of Jakarta. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 09: Relatives of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 arrive at the crisis centre in Soekarno Hatta Airport, on January 09, 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182, carrying 62 people on board a flight from Indonesia’s capital to Pontianak, Indonesia, lost contact with air controllers shortly after take-off and is believed to have crashed into the waters off the coast of Jakarta. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers on board missing Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 wait for news at the Supadio airport in Pontianak on January 9, 2021, after contact with the aircraft was lost shortly after take-off from Jakarta. - An Indonesian budget airline with 62 people on board is suspected to have crashed into the sea shortly after the Boeing 737 took off from Jakarta airport on January 9, authorities said. (Photo by Louis ANDERSON / AFP) (Photo by LOUIS ANDERSON/AFP via Getty Images)
A security personnel stands in front of a sign for a crisis centre for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 at the Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Tangerang near Jakarta on January 9, 2021, after contact with the Boeing 737 aircraft was lost and feared to have crashed into the sea shortly after take-off. - An Indonesian budget airline with 62 people on board is suspected to have crashed into the sea shortly after the Boeing 737 took off from Jakarta airport on January 9, authorities said. (Photo by FAJRIN RAHARJO / AFP) (Photo by FAJRIN RAHARJO/AFP via Getty Images)
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Indonesian military chief Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said teams on the Rigel navy ship equipped with a remote-operated vehicle had detected a signal from the aircraft, which fitted with the coordinates from the last contact made by the pilots before the plane went missing.

"We have immediately deployed our divers from navy's elite unit to determine the finding to evacuate the victims," Mr Tjahjanto said.

More than 12 hours since the Boeing plane operated by the Indonesian airline lost contact, little was known about what caused the crash.

Fishermen in the area around Thousand Islands, a chain of islands north of Jakarta's coast, reported hearing an explosion around 2.30pm local time on Saturday.

Indonesia Plane
A soldier beside a map showing the location where the jet went down (AP)

"We heard something explode, we thought it was a bomb or a tsunami since after that we saw the big splash from the water," fisherman Solihin, who goes by one name, told The Associated Press by phone.

"It was raining heavily and the weather was so bad. So it is difficult to see around clearly. But we can see the splash and a big wave after the sounds. We were very shocked and directly saw the plane debris and the fuel around our boat."

Mr Sumadi said Flight SJ182 was delayed for an hour before it took off at 2.36pm. It disappeared from radar four minutes later, after the pilot contacted air traffic control to ascend to an altitude of 29,000 feet, he said.

There were 62 people on board, including seven children and three babies.

Indonesia Plane
Rescuers examine debris found in the water off Java Island (AP)

"We are aware of media reports from Jakarta regarding Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182," Boeing said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand ready to support them during this difficult time."

Sriwijaya Air president Jefferson Irwin Jauwena said the plane, which was 26 years old and previously used by airlines in the United States, was airworthy. He told reporters on Saturday that the plane had previously flown to Pontianak and Pangkal Pinang city on the same day.

"Maintenance report said everything went well and airworthy," Mr Jauwena told a news conference. He said the plane was delayed due to bad weather, not because of any damage.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet operated by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

The plane involved in Saturday's incident did not have the automated flight-control system that played a role in the Lion Air crash and another crash of a 737 Max 8 jet in Ethiopia five months later, leading to the grounding of the Max 8 for 20 months.

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