Jakarta/Singapore | The doomed AirAsia plane had exploded on hitting the water in the Java Sea due to rapid change in pressure, as divers today retrieved part of the crucial black box of the jet that crashed over two weeks ago, killing all 162 people on board. In a potential breakthrough to solve the mystery of the fatal crash on December 28, Indonesian divers retrieved the flight data recorder that was found under the debris of the Airbus A320200′s wing, after days of multinational efforts to scour the seabed were hampered by bad weather.
The cockpit voice recorder part of two recorders that make up the black box was also located 20 metres from the flight data recorder but has not been retrieved yet. Meanwhile, search and rescue agency coordinator S B Supriyadi gave new dramatic details of the accident, saying an initial analysis of the wreckage recovered so far indicated the plane exploded on impact with the water due to a rapid change in pressure. It exploded because of the pressure, he told reporters in Pangkalan Bun, the town closest to the site. The cabin was pressurised and before the pressure of the cabin could be adjusted, it went down boom.
That explosion was heard in the area, he said, adding the left side of the plane seemed to have disintegrated. He said the fact that fishermen in the area had reported hearing an explosion and saw smoke above the water supported the possibility. Supriyadi told CNN he came to that conclusion because part of the Airbus A320200′s tail was broken into pieces and a flight data recorder was thrown more than a kilometre away. Earlier today, chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency Basarnas Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo said the object found today was confirmed to be the flight data recorder through its tag number.
I received information from the National Transport Safety Committee chief that at 07:11 am (local time), we have managed to get part of black box or the flight data recorder. What we have found and carried is the FDR and we confirmed this as the object has a tag number and serial PN2100404302 and serial number SN000556583, he said. Investigators in Jakarta will now examine the recorder for any leads in to determine the cause of the crash that claimed all 162 lives on board the illfated AirAsia Flight QZ8501, en route from Indonesia’s Surabaya city to Singapore. Meanwhile, the cockpit voice recorder seems to be under a wing, which is quite heavy.
So we will use air bags to lift it. This will be done tomorrow, Supriyadi said. However, some media reports said there was no data to support the explosion theory, citing an official. Only 48 bodies, including at least two strapped to their seats, have been found in the choppy waters so far despite over two weeks of search operations. Officials have said the multinational search operation’s top priority will be recovering bodies, and then retrieving the black box.
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