Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, with 162 people on board, lost contact with air traffic control during bad weather on December 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia to Singapore. There were no survivors.
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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 further salvage efforts.
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 yesterday.
“One team is for the tail and a separate team is sweeping the seabed for the black box,” Supriyadi, operations co-ordinator 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 20 miles from the plane’s last known location, at a depth of about 100 feet.
The aircraft carried the cockpit voice and flight data recorders near its tail, but officials have said it looks increasingly likely that they became separated during the disaster.
The recorders will be vital to the investigation into why the airliner crashed.
Supriyadi said the divers would try to home in on the pings but that the search area was extensive and visibility in the water, churned up by rainy-season weather, was poor.