Indonesia official says ‘ping’ getting clearer in hunt for jet’s black box

Indonesian police officers look at belongings of passengers of Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A “ping” sound believed to be emitted by the black box of an Indonesian jet that crashed into the sea this week with 189 aboard is getting clearer, the deputy of a national transport safety committee said on Thursday.

Ground staff lost touch with flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air 13 minutes after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 took off early on Monday from Jakarta, on its way to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang. There were no survivors.

“The ping sound is clearer,” Haryo Satmiko, deputy chairman of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), told Reuters.

“We’ve deployed a remote operating vehicle and detected a large chunk on the bottom of the sea. We suspect that is a part of the plane’s body.”

A team of divers had gone down since 5 a.m. to map the area where the black box is thought to be, he added, describing sea conditions as normal.

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