Indonesia military chief believes fuselage of crashed Lion Air plane located

Distressed relatives have been gathering at Pangkal Pinang airport

Distressed relatives have been gathering at Pangkal Pinang airport

It plummeted into the Java Sea - no survivors have been found, nor has the body of the Boeing 737.

Mr Boucousis said he had heard "many rumours and theories" about what may have caused the crash but said the truth could not be known until the plane's black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) - were recovered. "And hopefully that is the main body of the plane that we've been looking for".

The Lion Air aircraft that crashed in the Java Sea off Jakarta on Monday, with all 189 people on board now feared dead, had reported a flight control problem two minutes after takeoff, according to Indonesian authorities.

The accident has also resurrected concerns about Indonesia's patchy air safety record which until recently saw the country's carriers facing years-long bans from entering European Union and USA airspace over their safety records.

The commander in chief of the armed forces Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said fuselage, too, will raise to the surface.

He said divers also found many pieces of plane debris scattered about, majority small, but they haven't found any large portions of the plane.

Relatives of the 189 passengers and crew on the flight have provided DNA samples to help identify victims.

Lion Air said the plane had only gone into service in August.

Data from the doomed flight shows the plane was struggling with erratic speed and altitude levels during the brief time it was in the sky.

Aviation experts have said investigators will be depending on the black box for a definitive answer.

Flight 610 departed Jakarta early Monday and crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff.

Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air Group, told reporters on Monday there was a report of "a technical issue, which had been resolved according to procedure".

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said there were 178 adult passengers, one child, two infants, two pilots and six cabin crew on board flight JT 610. A part of the video shows passengers walking up the mobile boarding stairs attached to a Lion jet.

"It was his last contact with me, his last message to me", she said in an interview with Indonesian TV.

Meanwhile, Lion Air announced it had sacked its technical director in the fallout from the airline's deadliest plane disaster.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane had crashed just minutes after take-off from Jakarta. Lion has ordered 50 of the jets, worth an estimated $6.2 billion, and now operates nine.

"Of course there are lots of things we will ask them, we all have question marks here, 'Why?"

Kapish Gandhi, Suneja's cousin, said the family was devastated by the news and had gathered together in Delhi. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 on board.

This saw Indonesian airlines temporarily banned from flying to European countries.

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