Indonesia divers recover crashed jet's flight recorder on seafloor

  • Divers recovered a flight recorder from the crashed Lion Air jet on the seafloor, a crucial development in the investigation into what caused the 2-month-old plane to plunge into Indonesian seas this week.
  • The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed early Monday just minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
Indonesian Navy divers try to put a 'black box' into a plastic container after its discovery during search operations for the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 at sea, north of Karawang in West Java on November 1, 2018.
Adek Berry | AFP | Getty Images
Indonesian Navy divers try to put a 'black box' into a plastic container after its discovery during search operations for the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 at sea, north of Karawang in West Java on November 1, 2018.

Divers recovered a flight data recorder on Thursday from the Lion Air jet that crashed in Indonesia earlier this week, a key step in the probe into what went wrong on a flight that killed all 189 people on board.

Indonesia's Transportation Ministry said divers had recovered one of the so-called black boxes and that they were looking for another one. The remaining black box that investigators are searching for is the cockpit voice recorder, the Associated Press reported.

The recovered box is a key step in the investigation in the crash of the less than three-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet in the Java Sea minutes after takeoff on Monday morning from Jakarta. It will provide government investigators with information about the plane's speed, direction and altitude. Flight-data tracking site Flightradar24 showed the airplane plunged at a high speed shortly after taking off.

The crash is the first for the top-selling narrow-body Boeing jet, which Lion Air started flying in August. Boeing and U.S. government accident investigators are aiding in the probe of the crash. The cause of the fatal crash has not yet been determined.

The incident also highlights the safety issues that have plagued Indonesia's fast-growing aviation industry, which until recently was barred from flying to the European Union. The crash was the country's deadliest since 1997 when 234 people died on a Garuda flight.

Divers are still searching for the remains of passengers from the area near the crash site.

The location of the black box was reportedly about 500 meters northwest of the coordinates where the plane lost contact.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.