AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Second attempt to retrieve fuselage fails

The attempt failed when a rope attached to the lifting bags broke

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The Independent Online

The latest attempt to raise the fuselage of the Air Asia Flight QZ8501 has failed as a rope attached to the lifting balloons broke.

Strong currents are proving to be the main obstacle in retrieving the fuselage, according to navy spokesman, Manahan Simorangkir.

“We could not fight against nature,” he said. “We just hope the weather will change and be conducive.”

The rope had been attached to the lifting balloons on a surface ship, but broke as the remains of the plane were being lifted.

A previous attempt to raise the wreckage failed on Saturday when the balloons deflated, owing to poor weather.

Rescuers retrieved one body on Sunday, which floated to the surface as the main section of the aircraft was in the process of being raised.

Divers reached the site of the fuselage for the first time on Friday and it is believed most of the victims are inside the aeroplane.


To date 70 bodies have been discovered from the flight, which crashed in December last year with 162 people on-board, while flying from Indonesia to Singapore.

Dozens of divers have been battling strong currents and poor visibility while attempting to lift the fuselage from the 30 metre-deep waters in the Java Sea.

The bodies of the pilot and co-pilot are believed to be inside the cockpit, which is located 500 metres away from the main wreckage.

Bad weather is thought to be one of the main factors in the crash. Air traffic controllers denied the pilots’ request to climb in altitude to avoid the storm, because of heavy air traffic. Shortly after the request the flight disappeared.

Authorities do not believe sabotage is to blame for the crash.

Additional reporting Reuters