6 bodies retrieved in AirAsia crash | Inquirer News

6 bodies retrieved in AirAsia crash

, / 11:22 AM December 31, 2014

Missing AirAsia Search

Commander of 1st Indonesian Air Force Operational Command Rear Marshall Dwi Putranto, right, shows airplane parts and a suitcase found floating on the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, during a press conference at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. AP

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia — Indonesia’s Search and Rescue chief says six bodies lost in the AirAsia crash have so far been recovered from the Java Sea, including a woman wearing a flight attendant’s uniform.

Henry Bambang Soelistyo says three bodies were retrieved Tuesday, while the others were found after the search resumed Wednesday morning.


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


He says half of those found were male and half were female.

Seolistyo made the announcement as Indonesian president Joko Widodo said the primary focus of the search mission now was to retrieve the bodies of the remaining passengers and crew members of the doomed Flight QZ8501.

Joko, who was at Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan where several bodies and debris had been taken, said that a mass search operation would be conducted this morning.

“I was there an hour ago and I have instructed the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to conduct a joint operation with other international assets to look for the victims,” he said.

He added that the operations had to be suspended at the location last night due to poor weather condition.

“We, however, have three warships on standby in the area before we can continue with our operations tomorrow (today),” he said.


Joko also expressed his condolences to the victims’ families, adding that he too was saddened by the tragedy.

“We are all praying for the affected families to be strong in this challenging time,” he said.

In Jakarta, recovery teams are preparing for another day of massive search of the Java Sea. The water is not too deep in the area, raising hopes that the crucial flight data recorders of the plane can soon be recovered and offer clues to the reasons behind the crash.

Massive swells halted recovery efforts on Tuesday as the Indonesian authorities recovered at least three bodies from the flight that ended in the Java Sea on Sunday, causing relatives of those on board to break down as hopes of any survivors faded. Two of the bodies were female.

Relatives of the 162 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A-320 aircraft burst into tears and some fainted as the news was announced on TV shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday. Reports had suggested initially that as many as 40 bodies had been recovered. But the navy clarified later that it was a miscommunication.

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He thanked Malaysia, Australia, Singapore for helping in the search and rescue mission.

TAGS: AirAsia, bodies, Crash, QZ8501, retrieval, world

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