Rescue mission finds ‘body parts of Boeing 737 passengers’ floating in sea

A patrol boat searching Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that plunged into the sea in the Thousand Islands, Indonesia found body parts floating in the ocean.

Search and rescue captain Eko, of Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, said he received a report from a fisherman who heard an explosion that sounded like lightning.

He told TV One that rescuers saw "bits of flesh" and "possibly human bodies" in the sea.

The captain also said he saw "aviation fuel or aircraft fuel" near the crash-site location, which is just off of Male Island in Thousand Island, Indonesia.

Eko said: "There were bits of flesh, possibly human bodies.

"There is aviation fuel from the inside, incidentally there is a water depth of 15-16 meters."

According to flight manifests, 62 people, including crew were onboard flight SJ182 when it lost contact with air control at around 2.30pm on January 9.

Indonesian news outlet Rublica said 56 adults were among the dead, including 5 children and one baby.

It is understood the plane fell more than 10,000ft in one minute before it burst into flames and crashed into the sea.

Fishermen rushed to the crash site and tried to help but early photos show little signs of life as locals hold up torn life jackets and plane debris floating.

A local who goes by the name Solihin told the BBC Indonesian service he had witnessed a crash and his captain decided to return to land.

"The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water.

"It was pretty close to us, the shards of a kind of plywood almost hit my ship."

Speaking at a press conference, the Regent of Seribu Islands, Kadispenal Laksma Julius Widjojono explained that the various fleets that were deployed would assist officers in the field.

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He said: "KRI elements were deployed from the Koarmada I and Lantamal III ranks"

Adding: "Several ships were deployed: KRI Teluk Gili Manuk, KRI Kurau, KRI Parang, KRI Teluk Cirebon, KRI Tjiptadi, KRI Cucut, KRI Tengiri, 2 Sea Rider Kopaska, and 2 tugboats Galanggung and Malabar.

"The Indonesian Navy is also preparing Heli Nbell 412 EP HU 4205 onboard the KRI Bontang dock, JICT Jakarta, ready to support SAR operations."

Sriwijaya Air said it is aware of the missing plane but added that it is gathering more detailed information regarding before it can make further comment.

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