Indonesian divers have found the second black box from a doomed Lion Air jet that crashed last year killing all 189 people on-board.
Indonesian authorities confirmed the news on Monday, after months of speculation about what happened before the flight plunged into the sea near Jakarta.
“We have found the cockpit voice recorder this morning, at around 9am,” Haryo Satmiko, head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, told AFP.
Ridwan Djamaluddin, a deputy maritime minister, told reporters that remains of some of the 189 people who died in the crash were also discovered at the seabed location.
“We got confirmation this morning from the National Transportation Safety Committee’s chairman,” he said.
If the voice recorder is undamaged, it could provide valuable additional information to investigators.
Indonesian divers’ discovery of the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air plane comes more than two months after the Boeing Co 737 MAX jet crashed.
Naval Lieutenant Colonel Agung Nugroho told Reuters a weak signal from the recorder had been detected for several days and that it had been found buried in about 8 metres of mud in waters about 30 metres deep.
“We don’t know what damage there is, it has obvious scratches on it,” Nugroho said.
Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off on October 29 from the capital, Jakarta, heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.
The crash was the world’s first of a Boeing 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018.
The cockpit voice recorder is one of the two so-called black boxes crucial for the investigation of a plane crash.
The other black box, the flight data recorder, was recovered three days after the crash.
Investigators brought in a navy ship last week for a fresh search after a 10-day effort funded by Lion Air failed to find the recorder.
Separately, Colonel Johan Wahyudi told Metro TV the recorder had been retrieved and taken aboard the ship.
A preliminary report by Indonesia’s transport safety commission, or KNKT, focused on airline maintenance and training, as well as the response of a Boeing anti-stall system and a recently replaced sensor, but did not give a cause for the crash.
The Lion Air crash was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 on board.
Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.
Originally published as Missing clue found in doomed Lion Air flight