A researcher from the Indonesian National Transport Safety Commission (KNKT) said on Monday that the plane that collapsed in the Java Sea with 62 people on board on Saturday may have fallen apart when the aircraft hit the water.
“ We don‘t know for sure. But if we look at the debris, they are spread over an area that is not too wide,” said Nurcahyo Utomo to Reuters Monday. “It may have been torn when the water hit, because if it had exploded in the air, the debris would have spread wider,” he added. He thus contradicts, in a way, an earlier theory that an explosion at an altitude of three kilometers led the aircraft into a fatal dive.
Sriwijaya Air’s Boeing 737-500 had left with 62 people on board for an hour and a half flight to Pontianak, a city on the island of Borneo, 700 kilometres north, when it suddenly disappeared from the radar. A few hours later, divers already found debris and parts with the registration number of the aircraft. On Sunday, signals from the black boxes were found, and according to the researchers, these can be quickly recovered and lead to the position of the wreck.