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Indonesian authorities on Sunday extended by three days the search for the victims and a black box from the wreckage of a passenger jet that crashed last week, killing all 189 people on board, report agencies.
“We decided to extend it three days” beginning on Monday, search and rescue agency (Basarnas) chief Muhammad Syaugi said at a news conference.
The decision was based on an evaluation and observations of the crash site, he told reporters, noting that many victims’ remains had not been recovered. As of Sunday a total of 105 body bags, few containing intact remains, had been recovered and handed to police for forensic identification, yet only seven victims had been identified.
“I’m sure the total will increase,” Syaugi said. The agency is prioritizing recovering human remains and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), the second black box from the wrecked near-new Boeing Co. 737 MAX that smashed into the sea early on Monday, 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta. Divers have been honing in on ping signals in their search for the second box, as investigators try to get data from a partly damaged flight data recorder recovered on Thursday. “The signal picked up by the ping locator has been followed by reliable divers,” Syaugi said, “but they haven’t found (it) yet.”