Search, Retrieval Operations for QZ8501 Continues

5th Jan 2015

Teams from at least five countries like Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and United States have continued to scour the area in the hopes of finding more bodies and debris amidst the weather conditions.

The ill-fated flight was en route to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia with 155 passengers on board and a crew of 7, when ground controllers lost contact with the aircraft less than an hour later. The flight, QZ8501, took off from Surabaya's Juanda International Airport on December 28 at 5:35pm local time and was expected to arrive in Singapore at 8:30pm UTC.

The search and retrieval operations have expanded towards the east of Java Sea, following the undersea current movement, which was forecast to head eastward.

The Indonesian government, through Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), has already deployed over 80 divers to hasten the search and retrieval operations, which is now on its 10th day since the tragic event was confirmed.

According to BASARNAS, they have retrieved four more bodies today and a handful of debris such as an exit window, passenger seat, luggage, and survival kits.

They have yet to locate the wreckage, especially the fuselage and, more importantly, the black box which holds vital information on the cause of the aircraft's tragic crash.

Over in Surabaya, meanwhile, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) has steadily made progress in their effort to identify all the bodies retrieved from the wreckage.

BASARNAS has confirmed that a total of 34 bodies were so far recovered, only 9 of which were identified. The identification of the 25 other remains is still ongoing as of the press time.

The teams now focus their search for the black box, and they will start to conduct deep sea diving operations with the help of Chinese teams.

AirAsia officials are appealing to the public, especially the families and friends of the victims, to solely refer to the official information released by BASARNAS and DVI POLRI.

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