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Searchers zero in on crashed Lion 737 Max 8

Indonesia's national search and rescue agency Basarnas has identified the possible location of the wreckage of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed on 29 October.

Through the use of a remotely-operated underwater vehicle, as well as ping detectors, the agency believes it has located the aircraft, registered PK-LQP.

"Based on the aircraft's last reported coordinates, the likely site is to be on the northwest, or 400m from that coordinate," says Basarnas chief Muhammad Syaugi.

He warns that strong waves and limited visibility challenge the deployment of divers to the location. The presence of pipes on the seabed also complicate efforts.

Since 31 October, Basarnas has deployed five helicopters, 45 ships, and nearly 900 personnel to aid in search and recovery efforts. Overnight eight body bags were brought ashore, bringing the total number to 56. 189 passengers and crew died in the crash, the second worst air disaster in Indonesia's history.

The National Transport Safety Committee says it has recovered unspecified items from the 737 that will aid investigations. It has also received offers of assistance from countries such as Australia and Saudi Arabia.

The Lion Air 737 was operating as flight JT610 on the Jakarta-Pangkal Pinang route. Contact was lost 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International airport at 06.20 local time. It crashed into the sea near the town of Karawang in the province of West Java.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the aircraft was delivered on 13 August 2018, and bears serial number 43000. It is equipped with 180 seats, and managed by CMIG Leasing.

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