AirAsia search teams find more bodies in sea

Of the 30 victims recovered so far, 21 were found on Friday

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The Independent Online

After nearly a week of searching for the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, rescue teams battling monsoon rains have more than tripled the number of bodies pulled from the Java Sea, some still strapped to their seats.

Of the 30 victims recovered so far, 21 were found yesterday, many of them by a US Navy ship. The Airbus A320 carrying 162 passengers and crew went down Sunday, halfway into a flight from Surabaya,  Indonesia’s second-largest city, to Singapore.

Minutes before losing contact, the pilot told air-traffic control he was approaching threatening clouds, but was denied permission to climb to a higher altitude because of heavy air traffic. It remains unclear what caused the plane to plunge into the sea.


In addition to looking for victims, Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the US are scouring the ocean floor to pinpoint wreckage and the black boxes.

The data recorder contains information such as engine temperature and speed, the voice recorder saves conversations between pilots and other sounds from the cockpit.

Toos Saniotoso, an Indonesian air safety investigator, said investigators “are looking at every aspect” to determine why the plane crashed.

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