Teams of Indonesian divers resume search for AirAsia recorders, victims

By REUTERS
January 10, 2015 07:58
1 minute read.

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia - Indonesian divers resumed their search on Saturday for the black box flight recorders and passengers and crew of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea nearly two weeks ago.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, with 162 people on board, lost contact with air traffic control during bad weather on Dec. 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia to Singapore. There were no survivors.

Forty-eight bodies, including at least two strapped to their seats, have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo, and the tail of the Airbus A320-200 has been located in shallow water.

But strong winds and currents and high waves have hampered efforts to reach larger pieces of suspected wreckage detected by sonar on the sea floor and to find the rest of the victims.

Search and rescue teams detected pings they believed were from the flight recorders on Friday, and two teams of divers resumed the hunt soon after dawn on Saturday.

"One team is for the tail and a separate team is sweeping the seabed for the black box," Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters in the town of Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort on Borneo.

"We are still looking for the main body of the plane where most of the victims could be trapped."

The tail was found on Wednesday, upturned on the sea bed about 30 km (20 miles) from the plane's last known location at a depth of about 30 metres (100 feet).

The aircraft carries the cockpit voice and flight data recorders near its tail, however officials have said it looked increasingly likely that they had become separated during the disaster.

The recorders will be vital to the investigation into why the airliner crashed.


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