Indonesia removes a Lion Air director, dismisses technicians over plane crash

The couple had an arranged marriage in 2016

The couple had an arranged marriage in 2016

The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane plunged into the Java Sea on Monday just minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

The head of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency says the search for a crashed Lion Air plane has sighted aircraft debris and passenger belongings on the seafloor but the object thought to be the fuselage is still eluding them.

The crash has renewed concerns about the safety of Indonesian airlines, soon after USA and European regulators removed prohibitions against them.

The AP said the data from Sunday's flight was similar to preliminary data from Monday's flight, though it described safety experts as saying accuracy should be checked against the plane's so-called black boxes, which would contain information about the final moments aboard the plane and are expected to be recovered.

Among them were half a dozen colleagues of Sony Setiawan, who was supposed to be on the flight but missed check in due to bad traffic.

Authorities picked up the box's signals below the water's surface on Wednesday, but were unable to get to the device immediately because of rough seas and strong currents.

Investigators are looking into why the pilot of the downed aircraft had asked to return to base shortly after take-off, a request that ground control officials had granted, although the flight crashed soon after.

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The Indonesian government has ordered the removal of Lion Air's technical director and several other staff following the crash.

According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, the weather was fair within the search area.

On the night of October 29, a passenger plane crashed near the Indonesian island of Java after a few minutes after departure from Jakarta.

National Police have warned that, as the search for the aircraft's remains continue, identification of the victims is likely to take a long time.

Rescue team divers remain on the lookout for the plane's "black boxes", critical pieces of evidence that could help determine if the crash was a result of technical malfunction. Debris and some human remains were found previously but not the main fuselage and the black boxes. The FAA lifted the ban in 2016 after the country's airlines showed signs of improvement. The airline's uneven safety record, including another crash at sea with no deaths in 2013, led the US and the European Union to ban the airline from their airspace.

To allow for an uninterrupted investigation, Indonesia's transport ministry on Thursday issued 120-day suspensions to Lion Air's maintenance and engineering directors, its fleet maintenance manager, and the engineer who gave the jet permission to fly on Monday, Reuters reported. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast- growing region of more than 600 million people.

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