Saturday 17 November 2018

Relatives demand answers over plane crash

Tragedy: Rescue team members carry a bag containing a body. Photo: Reuters
Tragedy: Rescue team members carry a bag containing a body. Photo: Reuters

Cindy Silviana

Relatives of the victims of an Indonesian jet that crashed into the sea off Jakarta last week killing all 189 on board demanded answers yesterday as to why the plane had been passed fit to fly, and called for no let up in the search for loved ones.

Indonesian authorities on Sunday extended by three days the search for victims and a second black box recorder from wreckage of the nearly new Boeing 737 MAX that slammed into the sea a week ago only minutes after it took off from Jakarta.

At a news conference charged with emotion, relatives addressed questions to Indonesian officials including transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi and the head of the country's transportation safety committee (KNKT).

"We are the victims here. Imagine if you were in our position," said Najib Fuquoni, a relative of a victim, demanding an independent investigation into the crash.

Muhammad Bambang Sukandar, the father of another victim, said that Lion Air technicians would need to take "full responsibility" if it was proved that it had not properly attended to all technical issues following the jet's previous flight, from Bali to Jakarta.

"This is not an unimportant thing. These are people's lives," he said, as he sought to choke back tears.

"Don't let something like this keep happening in Indonesia," he added.

Indonesia is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, but its safety record has been patchy.

Its transport safety panel investigated 137 serious aviation incidents from 2012 to 2017.

Irish Independent

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