AirAsia QZ8501: Bad weather complicates recovery of bodies

Thursday, January 01, 2015
Jakarta: Indonesian officials has confirmed that bodies and debris that were found in the Java Sea off Borneo are from AirAsia flight QZ8501 the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th December 2014.

Indonesian television footage showed a body floating in the sea during aerial searches for the plane. The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun.

Following release of video AirAsia released a press note expressing regret and condolence over the mishap.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said he was "devastated" by the news.

President Joko Widodo told media he had instructed all search teams to focus on finding the passengers and crew.

The first trace of the plane was discovered Tuesday, not far from where the Airbus A320 disappeared during a storm en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Investigators hope to determine the cause of the crash once divers locate and recover the plane's cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

Indonesia's search and rescue agency says sonar images suggest the main body of the plane is lying upside down on the bottom of the sea, which is only 20 to 30 meters deep.

Local television Tuesday showed rescue helicopters pulling bodies from the Java Sea, in the same area where pieces of the plane were found.

Families of the 162 people on board AirAsia Flight 8501 burst into tears and hugged one another after seeing the images of the wreckage and floating bodies, which were not wearing life jackets.

Now, bad weather is hampering the search for the victims and wreckage of an AirAsia jet that went down in the Java Sea near the Indonesian island of Borneo.

Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo said three more corpses were pulled from the sea Wednesday, bringing the total number of bodies recovered to six.

"Today, this morning, we found and retrieved three bodies - two male and a female wearing a stewardess uniform. As for the details, this is not our job. Up until now, we have recovered six bodies," said Soelistyo.
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