Team fails to float AirAsia fuselage

2015-01-24 14:22
A file photograph of wreckage. (AFP)

A file photograph of wreckage. (AFP)

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Jakarta - Indonesian salvage teams failed to raise the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501 from the sea bed on Saturday, but recovered four more bodies from the wreckage of the crashed jet in the Java Sea.

The bid to raise the fuselage came a day after divers were able to enter the main section of the plane for the first time. 

Difficult weather conditions for the past week had stopped rescuers reaching the main part of the Airbus A320-200 since it was spotted on the seabed by a military vessel earlier this month.

"We were not successful today (on Saturday). The sling snapped, so the main body fell back to the sea floor," said a rescue agency official, adding that several bodies fell from the fuselage when the piece of wreckage sunk once again.

The operation to lift the main body will resume on Sunday.

Easier to inspect

The rescue agency official also said a sonar scan had detected an object "suspected to be the cockpit" of the plane about 500m from the fuselage.

But the search teams will prioritise floating the main body before verifying the object suspected to be the cockpit, the official said.

The rescuers hope that once the fuselage is lifted, it will be easier to inspect the inside of the main section, he added.

The jet's black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder - were recovered last week and investigators are analysing them.

Flight QZ8501 went down on 28 December in stormy weather, during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were 162 people on board.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  air crashes  |  airasia qz8501

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