Divers try to reach suspected AirAsia wreck site

2015-01-04 09:05
Indonesian Navy personnel of the frogmen and underwater demolition unit carry bags containing dead bodies before lifting them onboard Indonesian Navy vessel 'KRI Banda Aceh' during search operations for AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Java sea. (Adek Be

Indonesian Navy personnel of the frogmen and underwater demolition unit carry bags containing dead bodies before lifting them onboard Indonesian Navy vessel 'KRI Banda Aceh' during search operations for AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Java sea. (Adek Be

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pangkalan Bun - Divers were grappling with light rain and rolling waves on Sunday as they tried to reach what is believed to be the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501, resting on the ocean floor near three other large objects.

So far, only 30 bodies have been recovered from last week's crash and officials believe many of the remaining 132 passengers and crew are strapped to their seats inside the plane, said National Searh and Rescue deputy chief Tatang Zainudin.

"We are racing with time and weather in running this mission," he said, as early morning clear skies slowly became overcast.

The plane went down in the Java Sea on 28 December, halfway into a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, to Singapore. Minutes before losing contact, the pilot told air traffic control that he was approaching threatening clouds, but was denied permission to climb to a higher altitude because of heavy air traffic.

What caused the disaster remains unclear, but Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency released a report, saying "Flight 8501 appears to have been trapped in bad weather that would have been difficult to avoid."

Black box still missing

While the plane's black boxes - the flight data and cockpit voice recorders - have yet to be located, the discovery of the wreckage would greatly benefit the investigation.

Sonar equipment identified four giant chunks on the sea bed in the target search area on Friday and Saturday, but no images have been captured confirming they are part of the AirAsia plane.

The biggest object, measuring 18m long and 5.4m wide, appeared to be part of the jet's body, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

Other chunks of debris measured up to 12m long. Suspected plane parts also were seen scattered on beaches during an aerial survey.

Generally, aviation experts say the more passengers, luggage and parts of the aircraft that remain intact, the more likely the plane hit the water in one piece. That would signal problems like a mechanical error or a stall instead of a mid-air breakup due to an explosion or sudden depressurisation.

Read more on:    airasia  |  malaysia  |  indonesia  |  airasia qz8501

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.