Six bodies recovered from AirAsia crash: Official

IN31_AIRASIA_2262908eIndonesian President Joko Widodo oversees the aerial search operation for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 over the sea south of Pangkalan Bun on Tuesday

On Tuesday, the number had varied with different officials saying as many as six corpses had been discovered.

A massive hunt for the 162 victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 resumed in the Java Sea on Wednesday. Six bodies, including a flight attendant identified by her trademark red uniform, were recovered. But wind, strong currents and high surf hampered recovery efforts as distraught family members anxiously waited to identify their loved ones.

Three bodies were retrieved on Tuesday, while the others were found after the search resumed Wednesday morning, said Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo.

On Tuesday, the number had varied with different officials saying as many as six corpses had been discovered.

The first proof of the jet’s fate emerged on Tuesday in an area not far from where it dropped off radar screens. Searchers found the bodies and debris that included a life jacket, an emergency exit door and a suitcase about 10 miles from the plane’s last known coordinates.

On Wednesday, divers were deployed, but heavy rain and clouds grounded helicopters, said Soelistyo.

The airliner’s disappearance halfway through a two-hour flight between Surabaya, Indonesia, and Singapore triggered an international search for the aircraft involving dozens of planes, ships and helicopters. It is still unclear what brought the plane down.

The plane needs to be located and its cockpit voice and flight data recorders, or black boxes, recovered before officials can start determining what caused the crash.

Images of the debris and a bloated body shown on Indonesian television sent a spasm of anguish through the room at the Surabaya airport where relatives awaited news.

(Messages for passengers on board the missing AirAsia Flight 8501 are placed on a board at Changi International Airport, TuesdayPhoto: AP)

The first sign of the jet turned up about 10 miles (16 kilometres) from its last known coordinates. Parts of the interior, including the oxygen tank, were brought to the nearest town, Pangkalan Bun. Another find included a bright blue plastic suitcase, completely unscratched.

“I know the plane has crashed, but I cannot believe my brother and his family are dead,” said Ifan Joko, who lost seven family members, three of them children, as they travelled to Singapore to ring in the new year. “We still pray they are alive.”

The corpses were spotted about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Central Kalimantan province.

Rescue workers descended on ropes from a hovering helicopter to retrieve bodies. Efforts were hindered by 2-meter (6-foot) waves and strong winds, National Search and Rescue Director SB Supriyadi said.

The first body was later picked up by a navy ship. Officials said as many as six others followed, but they disagreed about the exact number.

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>