30 Bodies Recovered from AirAsia Flight that Crashed Into Sea


While 30 bodies have been recovered from the AirAsia crash in the Java Sea, the plane and its black boxes remained missing Friday.

The weather improved Friday, but waves remained high. Officials said a search with an unmanned submersible found no sign of the fuselage and no signals had been detected from the black box data recorders.

AirAsia Flight 8501 was en route Sunday from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when the crew asked permission to move to a higher elevation to get above bad weather. Shortly after the request was denied, air traffic controllers lost contact with the Airbus 320.

The first debris from the plane was found near the Borneo coast Tuesday.

Bambang Soelistyo, head of the Indonesian agency leading the search, said three ships would continue the search overnight Friday, using underwater detection equipment and accompanied by a tanker to allow them to refuel at sea.

Soelistyo said 30 bodies had been found by Friday evening. Most had not been identified and were placed in coffins marked with the number giving the order of discovery

The Java Sea is shallow and Soelistyo said he believes the plane’s fuselage is 80 to 100 feet below the surface. He said the search is focused on one area of about 1,575 square nautical miles.

“Divers are already on standby at the navy ship Banda Aceh to dive on that priority area to locate the body of the plane,” he told reporters. “I hope we’ll get a significant result today.”

The plane was carrying 162 people, including a crew of seven. Most of the passengers were Indonesian and the group included 17 children and a baby.

SOURCE: Frances Burns