Bodies, debris from missing AirAsia plane pulled from sea

By Reuters

JAKARTA  – Indonesian rescuers searching for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people pulled bodies and wreckage from the sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday, prompting relatives of those on board watching TV footage to break down in tears.

Indonesia AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control early on Sunday during bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

The navy said 40 bodies had been recovered. The plane has yet to be found.

“My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ8501,” airline boss Tony Fernandes tweeted. “On behalf of AirAsia, my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”

The airline said in a statement that it was inviting family members to Surabaya, “where a dedicated team of care providers will be assigned to each family to ensure that all of their needs are met”.

Pictures of floating bodies were broadcast on television and relatives of the missing already gathered at a crisis centre in Surabaya wept with heads in their hands. Several people collapsed in grief and were helped away.

“You have to be strong,” the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, said as she comforted relatives. “They are not ours, they belong to God.”

A navy spokesman said a plane door, oxygen tanks and one body had been recovered and taken away by helicopter for tests.

“The challenge is waves up to three metres high,” Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, head of the Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters, adding that the search operation would go on all night. He declined to answer questions on whether any survivors had been found.

About 30 ships and 21 aircraft from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the United States have been involved in the search.

The plane, which did not issue a distress signal, disappeared after its pilot failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather because of heavy air traffic, officials said.

It was travelling at 32,000 feet (9,753 metres) and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet, officials said earlier.

Pilots and aviation experts said thunderstorms, and requests to gain altitude to avoid them, were not unusual in that area.

The Indonesian pilot was experienced and the plane last underwent maintenance in mid-November, the airline said.

 

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    30 December 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    13 days ago,a Chinese blogger predicted that “a black hand” was going to bring down Air Asia, warned passengers…read DrugereportArchieves.com. Before the downing of the plane Obama and the President of Malaysia were playing golf together in Hawaii.

  • Kenikeni
    5 January 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Talaga lang Mario??

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