Black box from crashed Lion Air flight found

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Divers conduct an operation near the search area of a site where Lion Air flight JT610 plane had crashed, off Tanjung Pakis, Indonesia, Wednesday, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder - which could be key pieces of evidence - are still missing.

Divers have recovered a flight recorder from the crashed Lion Air jet on the sea floor, a crucial development in the investigation into what caused the two-month-old plane to plunge into the sea earlier this week.

"We hope that with this finding we can solve the mystery of why this aircraft was involved in this accident", he said.

The Indonesian Finance Ministry said 21 employees were on board a Lion Air flight that crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff on yesterday.

But Lion's admission that the plane had an unspecified technical issue on a previous flight - as well as the plane's abrupt nosedive just 12 minutes after takeoff - have raised questions about whether it had any faults specific to the newly released model, including a speed-and-altitude system malfunction.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency Basarnas said it found the flight data recorder after following signals sent by its locator beacon, the Jakarta Post reported.

Although it is now nearly certain that everyone on the plane died, relatives are desperate to find traces of their loved ones.

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Maulana Hami ul Haq, son of Maulana Samiul Haq , said that his father was resting in his room when he was attacked with a knife. Some reports say he was killed in a knife attack, while others say he was shot after gunmen opened fire on his vehicle .

Relatives numbed by grief have provided samples for DNA tests to help identify victims of the crash, which has reignited concerns about safety in Indonesia's fast-growing aviation industry.

Muhammad Syaugi told reporters Wednesday that the search effort is battling strong currents but they remain confident the aircraft hull will be found.

Video of passengers boarding the flight has been broadcast on Indonesian TV.

Syauqi said that if the main body of the aircraft was found, more victim bodies as well as the black box would also be located.

A passenger's wife, Inchy Ayorbaba, shared a video she took with her missing husband, Paul Ferdinand Ayorbaba, via WhatsApp before he boarded the plane.

The Indonesian government has ordered the removal of Lion Air's technical director and several other staff following the crash. He is seen walking along a concourse, showing his Lion Air boarding pass on camera, and zooming in on a Lion Air aircraft while boarding, according to AP.

Lion Air, headquartered in Indonesia, operates flights in Malaysia flying between Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Jakarta and Surabaya.

The National Search and Rescue Agency said Tuesday that 10 intact bodies as well as body parts had been recovered. This saw Indonesian airlines temporarily banned from flying to European countries.