Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Better weather allows AirAsia search to resume

PANGKALAN BUN — The weather improved as the search resumed today (Jan 1) for victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, with officials trying to locate the fuselage of the plane that crashed in the sea four days ago.

Indonesian military carry the caskets containing the bodies of two AirAsia flight QZ8501 passengers recovered off the coast of Borneo at a military base in Surabaya December 31, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Indonesian military carry the caskets containing the bodies of two AirAsia flight QZ8501 passengers recovered off the coast of Borneo at a military base in Surabaya December 31, 2014. Photo: Reuters

PANGKALAN BUN — The weather improved as the search resumed today (Jan 1) for victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, with officials trying to locate the fuselage of the plane that crashed in the sea four days ago.

Two more bodies have been recovered, bringing the total to nine of the 162 people who were on the flight when it vanished Sunday (Dec 28) half way through a two-hour flight from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

Sonar images identified what appeared to be large parts of the plane, but strong currents were moving the debris.

Choppy conditions had prevented divers from entering the water yesterday, and helicopters were largely grounded. But 18 ships surveyed the narrowed search area.

The break in weather today — blue skies and calm seas despite earlier storm predictions — could aid recovery efforts, and Vice Air Marshal Sunarbowo Sandi, search and rescue coordinator in Pangkalan Bun on Borneo island, the closest town to the targeted area, said he was hopeful divers would be able to explore the wreckage site.

“It’s possible the bodies are in the fuselage,” he said, “so it’s a race now against time and weather.”

It is still unclear what brought the plane down. The jet’s last communication indicated the pilots were worried about bad weather. They sought permission to climb above threatening clouds but were denied because of heavy air traffic. Four minutes later, the airliner disappeared from the radar without issuing a distress signal.

The cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders, or black boxes, must be recovered before officials can start determining what caused the crash. Items recovered so far include a life jacket, an emergency exit window, children’s shoes, a blue suitcase and backpacks filled with food.

Simple wooden coffins — numbered 001 and 002 — with purple flowers on top contained the first two bodies, which were sent from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya for autopsies. The two victims were a woman wearing blue jeans and a boy. The other five bodies — three male and two female — will remain on a warship until the weather clears. AP

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.