Live updates: Day 12 (Jan 8) The search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501
SINGAPORE — Search and recovery for AirAsia flight QZ8501 continues today (Jan 8).
The flight carrying 162 people from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Dec 28. The plane was due to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am. Stay tuned for live updates.
For earlier posts on the search for QZ8501, click here.
This page is no longer being updated.
8pm: The BASARNAS director has just held a press conference on the progress on search and rescue efforts today. Here are the key points:
- "We are sure the pings detected today are from the black box"
- 7 bodies retrieved today by Japanese and Indonesia ships. No other findings were made.
- Tail salvage efforts failed today, with bad weather a major contributing factor.
7.37pm: 7 bodies are being flown to Surabaya now. Since the AirAsia crash on Dec 28, 48 bodies have been retrieved from the Java Sea and delivered to Pangkalan Bun.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
5.50pm: Two bodies retrieved from the sea have arrived at Pangkalan Bun via a BASARNAS helicopter.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
9.55pm: Air Asia has released a statement on progress regarding search and rescue efforts today. Here are the key points:
- One of the recovered bodies was identified as Djoko Suseno (male) by the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI)
- Due to swift underwater currents and limited visibility, divers were only able to find more debris, which is presumed to be the interior part of the aircraft and baggage compartment
- One more body was recovered today. To date, BASARNAS has recovered a total of 41 remains, of which 25 remains have been identified
- The tail part will be the main focus of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. BASARNAS said that once the black box is found, the SAR team plans to lift the tail piece out from the water with the permission from Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT)
7pm: BASARNAS has just held a press conference. Here are the key points from developments today:
- 2 bodies were found today and are currently on Indonesian rescue ships: BASARNAS director director of operations Supriyadi
- KRI Banda Aceh attempted to bring plane tail to surface, but operation failed due to bad weather. Currents were 3-5 knots, visibility 0-1m underwater.
- Another suspected part of plane found, measuring 5m by 10m
5.20pm: Indonesian soliders as well as search and rescue personnel at Pangkalan Bun's Iskandar airport, pay their respects to two victims of the #AirAsia #QZ8501 crash. The bodies will be flown to Surabaya today.
(Video: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY
4.20pm: One more body has arrived in Pangkalan Bun. This is the 41st body to reach the city.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
2.31pm: Divers have reached the tail of the aircraft, but did not manage to penetrate the tail due to strong currents and poor visibility.
1.39pm: Four investigators from Airbus have already seen images shot by divers inspecting the plane tail.
While the images have not shown any sign of the black box, an investigator from the Indonesia National Transportation Safety Committee said they are "quite sure" the black box is in or near the wreckage.
“If it is detached from the original position because of the impact... I hope and I am quite sure it will be not far from the wreckage that we found yesterday,” he said.
1.06pm: Defence minister Ng Eng Hen shares the following infographic put together by the Republic of Singapore Navy that shows parts of aircraft that have been spotted underwater. "Good that significant progress has been made," he said in a Facebook post.
12.37pm: Malaysian navy vessel KD Perak recovers body of female victim. Body will be handed over to BASARNAS, says Malaysia's Chief of Navy.
12.21pm: The Indonesian government has asked AirAsia to take no more than 7 days after bodies have been identified to pay compensation, reports Channel NewsAsia. AirAsia will compensate families of those killed in accordance to Indonesian laws. Each will receive 1.25 billion rupiah (S$13,200), Sunu Widyatmoko, president of AirAsia Indonesia, told reporters in Surabaya.
12.15pm: Torrential shower hits Pangkalan Bun.
9.43am: Meteorological services say weather conditions for the search are best in 12 days, and divers entered water at 6am near tail, Channel NewsAsia reports. The black box has about 18 days of signal left. Transmission was detected in tail vicinity yesterday before being lost.
6.04am: Day 12 of the search - To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered a total of 40 remains of which 24 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 16 remains are still being identified.
9pm: Here, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is launched by the AUV team in the south west coast of Borneo. The AUV can be programmed to scan the sea bed using sonar technology and return with results for analysis back on board.
The AUV and its team came on board the MV Swift Rescue early yesterday morning (Jan 6) from the RSS Persistence.The AUV located a few underwater objects but were unrelated to AirAsia flight QZ8501.High sea swells continue to pose a challenge to the search efforts. The operation was cut short due to approaching rain clouds.
11 days after the crash, the shift in focus for the search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 has moved underwater.
(Photo: Raj Nadarajan/ TODAY)
5.15pm: The Indonesian Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan as well as Coordinating Maritime Afffairs Minister Indroyono Susilo are present at an ongoing press conference.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Susilo speaking to reporters at Pankalan Bun
Here are the key updates:
- 8 bodies were identified today, Channel NewsAsia reports.The eight include: Indahju Liangsih (17), Stephanie Yulianto (14), Jou Christine Yuanita (62), Soetikno Sia (60), Ratri Sri Andriani (30), Ruth Natalia Made Puspitasari (26), Rudy Soetjipto (54) and Nico Giovanni (17).
- 2 more bodies were recovered, bring the total to 41
- According to Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Susilo, now that the tail of the plane has been found, the black box could be found soon. 6 ships are currently at the location of the plane's tail, within a 2 nautical square mile search area. Autonomous underwater vehicles have also been sent to recover plane's tail.
- BASARNAS director says the search for the black box is still ongoing. Divers found the plane's tail lying on the sea bed, partly buried in mud. The divers know it is an AirAsia tail because they saw the letters "AXC". PK-AXC shows it is an Indonesia AirAsia aircraft
- Subsurface vehicles, able to lift up to 250,000kg will be used to retrieve wreckage and bodies
- Authorities expect good weather for the next 3-4 days, according to forecasts.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
3.55pm: Search teams have located the tail. The find is particularly significant because the all-important cockpit voice and flight data recorders, or black boxes, are located in the aircraft's tail.
Here is where it was found:
(Graphic: Adolfo Arranz/ TODAY)
3.01pm: QZ8501 was on a left roll when it made impact with the water, says the investigator. The conclusion was made based on the damage to debris recovered.
2.39pm: Images of the tail have emerged on Indonesian TV. (Screencap: TV One News)
1.31pm: Indonesian search and rescue teams hunting for the wreck of an AirAsia passenger jet have located the tail of the aircraft underwater, according to search and rescue chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo.
8.30am: The Most Probable Area search sector will expand 40 nautical miles eastward, according to Malaysia's Chief of Navy. The Underwater Search Area on the other hand has reduced to 40 nautical square miles.
7.49am: Two more ships will join the search today.
7.08pm: Mr Supriyadi, who directs the rescue agency's operations at the search area speaks to media at a press conference. TODAY's reporter on the ground picks out highlights.
- "Today, two bodies were found. One is already in Pangkalan Bun. One is still on the ship."
- "The underwater search is difficult. SAR personnel have searched the beaches but did not find anything."
- "It was cloudy today. Waves were as high as 3 metres. Divers were not able to dive."
- "Search efforts by ships today did not make any significant progress. The search effort will continue tomorrow."
- "Search for black box & main wreckage will continue, because there may be more bodies trapped inside the plane."
- "One body was found by a M'sian ship & now in Pangkalan Bun. One more will arrive at Kumai port at 10pm (Indonesia time)".
6.00pm: TODAY's reporter on the ground, Xue Jianyue, is at the press conference where General Moeldoko, Commander-in-chief of the Indonesia army, speaks to media.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/TODAY)
- General Moeldoko took a helicopter and boarded an Indonesian search ship
- "My soldiers have done their best. Sometimes, they even have to ignore their own safety to retrieve the bodies," says General Moeldoko.
- He says the search will continue, without any limits.
- The army chief wants to invite families of crash victims to the search areas whenever they are ready to sprinkle flowers.
- The general thanked all the other countries who have assisted.
5.25pm: One body recovered arrives in Pangkalan Bun.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue)
4.15pm: Two more bodies have been recovered - Pangkalan Bun command operational director Supriyadi told media that a Japanese and Malaysian search vessel each recovered a body from the search site, bringing the total bodies recovered to 39.
3.30pm: Surabaya police announce that three victims of QZ8501 have been identified. They are Mr Indra Yulianto, 51, Mr Hindarto Halim, 61, and 19-year-old Jou Brian Youvito. 16 out of 37 bodies retrieved have been identified.
2.15pm: Four air traffic control officers from Surabaya's international airport have been removed from their posts, reports Detik.com.
1.51pm: The Commander of the Indonesia Armed Forces, the Chief of Staff of Indonesia Air Force, the Indonesia Chief, and BASARNAS's Direction of Operations have arrived at Pangkalan Bun. They will board helicopters to inspect the search area today.
TODAY reporter Xue Jianyue in Pangkalan Bun says that while skies were clear this morning, showers started after noon.
12.49pm: Top brass from Indonesia's military and police are expected to reach Pangkalan Bun this afternoon for a press conference. They include the Commander of the Indonesia Armed Forces, the Chief of Staff of Indonesia Air Force, the Indonesia Chief, and BASARNAS's Direction of Operations.
TODAY will be on location.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue/TODAY)
10.29am: The search operation will spread slightly eastward today as the weather and currents drag wreckage in that direction, the head of Indonesia’s rescue agency said.
8.15am: Day 10 of the search begins today. What will be happening today:
- The search area is currently focused in the east part of the Java Sea where more than 50 vessels, helicopters and more than 80 deep divers are observing the area.
- Families of victims have been invited to join a ceremony to sow flowers around the search area. The date of which will be announced later.
- Waves forecasted to be at 2-3m today.
- 5 vessels have been deployed to focus on the blackbox search.
9pm: Air Asia has released a statement. Here are the key points
- 3 more bodies were recovered today. Debris such as passenger seats and oxygen masks were also found.
- Searches are currently focused in the east part of the Java sea, with the aid of more than 50 vessels, helicopters and 80 deep divers. Weather hampered search efforts, with reported waves of 4-5m in the search areas.
- The Disaster Victim Identification Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) identified 4 more remains as Tony Linaksita (male), Shiane Josal (female), Lim Yan Koen (male) and Yongki Jou (male).To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered 37 remains, of which 13 remains have been identified
5.55pm: Here are updates from the search site allocated to MV Swift Rescue.
The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) was launched from the MV Swift Rescue at a new search sector today at 5.55pm (Singapore time) and spent 45 minutes underwater, surveying an area allocated by Indonesian authorities at a site where the 5th aircraft part from AirAsia flight QZ8501 is believed to be at. Although conditions on the surface was better than previous days, visibility underwater was poor due to strong currents beneath the surface. Visibility underwater was less than a meter.
Search in the new search sector commenced at 3.05pm
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) control pilots conducting an underwater search remotely from the ROV control room on board the MV Swift Rescue.
(Photos: Raj Nadarajan/ TODAY)
5pm: 4 more bodies have been identified - Shiame Josal (45); Tony Linaksita (42), Lim Yan Koen (61), Yongke Jou (53).
4.45pm: RSS Valour has returned to Tuas Naval Base this afternoon, after having been deployed for eight days in the Indonesian-led multinational search operations for AirAsia plane, MINDEF said in a statement.
MINDEF added that RSS Supreme will depart for Singapore this evening for replenishment after assisting in search operations for more than a week.
3.45pm: Reuters reports that an Indonesian naval patrol vessel found what the captain said could be the tail of a missing AirAsia jet, the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located.
"We found what has a high probability of being the tail of the plane," Yayan Sofyan, captain of the patrol vessel, told reporters. However, the Indonesian search and rescue agency is yet to confirm the discovery.
Indonesian search and rescue has yet to confirm this.
2.11pm: Indonesia's Transport Ministry reaffirms that AirAsia QZ8501 did not have approval to fly, rejecting airport operator Angkasa Pura I's statement, reports Channel NewsAsia.
1.38pm: Indonesia's armed forces commander has offered to bring family members to #QZ8501 crash site, reports Channel NewsAsia.
1.28pm: Malaysian navy vessel KD Kasturi has recovered three more bodies, says its Chief of Navy on Twitter.
10.11am: Search operations have resumed, reports AP. Divers hope to recover large objects, believed to be the plane's fuselage, today.
7.49am: The search sector today will expand eastwards, in view of the currents' direction, according to Malaysia's Chief of Navy.
11pm: Here's a round up of the search and rescue efforts from today (Jan 4)
- A total of 34 bodies have been recovered so far
- Five large underwater object believed to be part of plane detected
- Diving operations suspended due to bad weather
- No "pings" detected from black box
- Indonesian meteorological bureau says weather was "worrying" on day of crash
8.30pm: BASARNAS chiefs is holding a press conference. Here are the key points:
- Debris found indicates body of plane broken. All efforts will be focused on finding the tail where the Black Box is located.
- Black box of QZ8501 should not be far from where 5 big objects were spotted
- Bad weather hampered search efforts today. Better weather is expected tomorrow.
7pm: Search and rescue personnel at Pangkalan Bun airport carry away aircraft debris delivered by the Republic of Singapore Air Force Super Puma.
(Video: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
6.30pm: A Republic of Singapore Air Force Super Puma helicopter lands in Pangkalan Bun, delivering one body and two bags of debris. The body and debris were found by Singapore naval vessel RSS Persistence.
(Video: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
4pm: Three more bodies have been identified as Indonesians according to authorities, namely:
- AirAsia flight attendant Wismoyo Ari Prambudi (24 years old)
- Jie Stevie Gunawan (10 years old)
- Juanita Limantara (30 years old).
The body count now stands at 34. The press conference took place at the crisis centre in Surabaya.
3.15pm: Here's a look on board the Russian Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft, which is part of a multi-national task force of ships, planes and helicopters to recover the bodies of victims and locate the wreck of the passenger plane.
Divers, including members of the Russian contingent were sent to investigate the debris early on Sunday, but diving had since been suspended due to bad weather. The total bodies recovered now stands at 31.
(Photos: Xue Jianyue/ TODAY)
2.31pm: From our reporter on board the MV Swift Rescue: The vessel commenced search in a new sector today as of 2.45am, after completing its last search sector. Visibility in the new sector is about 1 nautical mile and the sea state and weather remains unfavourable for underwater search operation.
(Photo: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY)
1.59pm: Our reporter on the ground takes a photo of items, believed to be from the wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501. The handover of items between the RSS Valour and the MV Swift Rescue took place at 1.15am (Singapore time) today. The items include an adult life jacket and 3 personal items, and will be handed to Indonesian authorities. The RSS Valour will be heading back to Singapore.
(Photos: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY)
12.30pm: Press conference with rescue agency, BASARNAS, begins. Highlights:
- Part of search and rescue operation has moved east for a more specific operation
- 2 divers sent down this morning were brought back up due to poor visibility, safety concerns; current at 2-5 knots.
- 9 vessels currently at area where 4 objects were found; Indonesia (3), US (2), Malaysia (2) and Singapore (2).
- Finding of black box is not rescue agency’s responsibilty; merely assisting investigation team with their vessel.
- Only one more body found can be confirmed but three more bodies awaiting evacuation.
12.20pm: One body recovered by Singapore’s RSS Persistence vessel, to be evacuated by a Super Puma helicopter, reports Channel NewsAsia.
12.06pm: 3 bodies spotted; not far from each other, says pilot of search aircraft speaking to MetroTV
11.08am: About 90 divers from Indonesia and Russia deployed to recover more bodies.
9.24am: Indonesia's KRI Usman Harun, a subject of controversy between Singapore and Indonesia, has set out for search and rescue operations today, reports local media.
8.00am: Units out at sea for search and rescue operations today
7.50am: Map showing new sectors for search & allocation of assets in day 8. Singapore's RSS Supreme is assigned to "Most Probable Area" sector while the RSS Persistence & MV Swift Rescue at "Underwater Search Area".
10pm: Here's a round up of the search and rescue efforts from today (Jan 3):
- Remote underwater vehicles were unable to get images of objects
- Indonesia suspends airline's Surabaya-Singapore licence
- Airline's other flight schedules are now under scrutiny
- Meteorological bureau says weather a factor in crash
- Black box flight recorders not yet found
9.02pm: Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces tweets an update.
8.59pm: Four large objects have been located in the Java Sea by search and rescue teams.
8.36pm: RSS Valour is making her way back to Singapore, after being deployed for about a week, according to the Republic of Singapore Navy.
Five RSN ships have been deployed for the search operation - a frigate RSS Supreme, missile corvette RSS Valour and landing ship tank RSS Persistence for surface search, a mine countermeasure vessel RSS Kallang, MV Swift Rescue, as well as an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team to conduct underwater search.
8pm: Air Asia has released a statement. Here are the key points:
- The search process is still underway with the Russian SAR team joining the mission, strengthening the operation led by BASARNAS.
- To date, Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) has identified a total of six passengers while the 24 remaining bodies are still being identified. DVI POLRI also confirms that the remains identification process will be supported by DVI experts from Singapore and South Korea.
- Weather in the SAR area for tomorrow (Jan 4) is forecast to be much better with waves likely to decrease and remain at 2-3m.
7pm: Air Asia Indonesia had approval to run daily flights from Surabaya to Singapore, even though the airline had flown on Sundays without authorisation from Indonesian authorities, CAAS and Changi Airport Group confirm.
5pm: A Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team comprising six officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and two forensic experts from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) departed today for Surabaya to assist Indonesia in identifying victims of the crash, according to Home Team News.
(Photo: Facebook/ Home Team News Singapore)
4.46pm: A Russian amphibious plane has landed in Pangkalan Bun to assist in search and rescue operations.
(Photo: Xue Jianyue)
4.45pm: Two more passengers - Hendra Gunawan Syawal (male) and The Meiji Thejakusuma (female) - have been identified by the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI).
4.10pm: LIVE update from the search area: US naval vessel USS Sampson is seen here together with its search helicopter, spotted near the operating area of MV Swift Rescue in the southern coast of Borneo, Jan 3 2015.
(TODAY photo by Raj Nadarajan)
4.02pm: LIVE update from the search area: (L-R) Underwater Telephony Specialists ME3 Eric Chua, 38 and ME3 Marcus Chua, 37, are hoping to receive signals emitted from the black box of the missing AirAsia aircraft in the Underwater Telephony Operation Room on board the MV Swift Rescue. Together with a team, they have been working around the clock over the past 3 days in designated search areas in the southern coast of Borneo, Jan 3 2015.
(TODAY photo by Raj Nadarajan)
4pm: Evacuation efforts have sped up thanks to fair weather on the seas. There are now 60 ships taking part in the search efforts. As of 2pm, a total of 30 bodies have been recovered and flown to Surabaya for identification.
3pm: 12 bodies flown from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya have arrived and are taken to hospital for identification.
1.25pm: 12 bodies, 9 male and 3 female, flown to Surabaya.
(Video: Xue Jianyue in Pangkali Bun)
11.49am: 7 more bodies have arrived via helicopter at Pangkalan Bun from an Indonesian search ship. One more body being evacuated from a Malaysian ship.
(Photos: Screengrab from MetroTV)
10.40am: Disaster victim investigation unit have received 161 ante mortem DNA samples while 138 DNA samples submitted from family members for identification.
10.28am: Rescue chief says 2 huge objects found by detection ships beside each other, 30 metres underwater.
10:00am: 18 bodies already at Surabaya hospital, 12 more on the way: Indonesia navy commander.
8.50am: Sea in search area still rough with waves reaching a height of 4 metres. Visibility 8 nautical miles, wind speed 20 - 30 knots, says Malaysia's chief of navy.
8.30am: Underwater search area with dimension of 57x10 nautical miles established. Five ships are tasked, says Malaysia's chief of navy.
8.20am: Today’s operation will include focus on finding main aircraft body and location of black box, reports MetroTV, citing rescue agency officials.
7.45am: The search and rescue mission continues at daybreak.
7.26pm: Press conference from BASARNAS now underway. Key points:
- 30 bodies recovered, confirmed BASARNAS. 8 bodies are already in Surabaya, 10 are en route, 4 are in Pangkalan Bun, 7 are on board Indonesian navy vessel KRI Bung Tomo and 1 is on board Malaysian navy ship KD Pahang.
- An Indonesian ocean going tugboat will be entering the search area tonight.
- Fuel tankers are also heading to the search area to help refuel operational ships.
- Waves reached up to 5m today, making operations difficult.
6.40pm: The tail of QZ8501 has been sighted, according to the Commander of Indonesia's navy ship KRI Bung Tomo to Metro TV.
6.21pm: A Korean P-3 Orion has spotted 3 bodies still strapped to a row of seats, as well as 3 other bodies at 3 different locations, reports Detik.
6.06pm: 5th Singapore navy vessel RSS Kallang arrives at search area. To date, Singapore has contributed more than 400 SAF personnel, two C-130 aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, five navy ships and a 6-man Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team to aid the search.
6.00pm: Singapore naval vessel RSS Supreme today recovered what is believed to be a window panel of the AirAsia jet. (Photos: Ng Eng Hen/Facebook)
4.55pm: AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes to fly body of stewardess Khairunisa Haidar home.
4.39pm: Two Russian planes with 72 rescue personnel on board have arrived in Indonesia to assist the search, reports RT.com. The Russian planes are reportedly carrying sonars, diving equipment and drones to search the area where there may be a missing plane.
4.24pm: TODAY reporter Xue Jianyue in Pangkalan Bun:
A Basarnas rescue ship, KN SAR 224, docked at Pangkalan Bun's Kumai port this afternoon after searching the waters 80 to 100 nautical miles from the Kalimantan coast. However, the ship did not find any new bodies today.
Captain Ahmad, who commands the ship, said waves are still high, at 3m to 4m, but visibility is now clear.
His message to families of crash victims hoping to see the bodies of their loved ones again: "We will be searching and searching, until we find it."
3.40pm: Three more bodies identified by the police as Grayson Herbert Linaksita, Kevin Soetjipto, and stewardess Khairunnisa Haidar.
3.00pm: RSS Valour recovers luggage bag at search site. Item has been delivered to Indonesian authorities, says Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
2.25pm: Four more bodies have arrived at Pangkala Bun. Photo: Channel NewsAsia
12.39pm: Captain Rangga Mahardhika, a chief engineer on board one of the marine police boats, said that high waves, cloudy skies and muddy coastal waters complicate the search. His ship uses sonar to detect submerged debris and bodies. Upon finding a suepect body or plane part, divers will be deployed to retrieve them. Photo: Xue Jianyue
11.30am: An international team armed with acoustic equipment - comprising personel from Singapore, Malaysia, the U.S. and France - have arrived to bolster the search for the plane's black box flight recorders.
9.52am: Two more bodies and some debris have arrived at Pangkala Bun airport via helicopter. 16 bodies have been found thus far, with 10 already brought to land, reports Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency.
9.42am: Another seven bodies are said to be found: 1 by Malaysian navy, 6 by the US.
9.30am: The search zone has moved 30 nautical miles from yesterday. An area covering 1,575 nautical miles was established by the Malaysian navy chief as the "most probably area" where wreckage will be found.