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One AirAsia QZ8501 pilot’s body recovered

JAKARTA — Indonesian search and rescue officials evacuated one of two bodies from the cockpit of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 late yesterday (Feb 6) afternoon.

Military personnel load a bodybag containing what is believed to be a victim of AirAsia QZ 8501 onto a helicopter on the deck of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banda Aceh in the Java Sea. Photo: AP

Military personnel load a bodybag containing what is believed to be a victim of AirAsia QZ 8501 onto a helicopter on the deck of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banda Aceh in the Java Sea. Photo: AP

JAKARTA — Indonesian search and rescue officials evacuated one of two bodies from the cockpit of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 late yesterday (Feb 6) afternoon.

The pilots’ heavily decomposed bodies still had their airline uniforms on and were strapped to their seats. The cockpit was located 20 metres away from the fuselage on the seabed of the Java Sea.

As nightfall approached, authorities temporarily called off evacuating the other body in the cockpit and will resume their recovery today.

Search officials were not able to identify whether the first body that was retrieved from the plane was Pilot Iriyanto or his co-pilot Remy Plesel. The body has been taken aboard the rescue vessel KN Pacitan.

In the past week, authorities were able to find 28 bodies and have extended search operations for another seven days. Underwater currents have brought the bodies and the plane’s debris over 980km from the crash site. The search area has been extended to Central, West and South Sulawesi.

Flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather on Dec 28 in the Java Sea during what was supposed to be a short trip from Surabaya to Singapore. Out of 162 people on board, 98 bodies have been found. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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