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‘Searchers may have located tail of crashed AirAsia plane’

Three more bodies were found early today, bringing the total found so far to 37 of the 162 people on board. File Photo of caskets containing the remains of passengers from AirAsia QZ8501 are being carried into an Indonesian military cargo plane.  

Indonesian searchers on Monday said they may have found what could be the tail of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501, the section where the crucial black boxes are located, even as calmer waters led to the recovery of three more bodies of people on board the ill-fated plane.

“We found what has a high probability of being the tail of the plane,” Yayan Sofyan, the captain of an Indonesian patrol vessel, said. However, the Indonesian search and rescue agency is yet to confirm the discovery.

Flight recorders are very crucial for solving the mystery of the crash of the Airbus 320-200 on December 28 in the Java Sea while flying from Surabaya to Singapore.

The development came as Indonesian navy divers took advantage of calmer waters on Monday to resume efforts to identify suspected wreckage from the jet with no signal detected yet from the black box recorders.

This ship has a very specific mission. On board is a pinger locator that needs to be delivered to a vessel stationed in Sector 4 of the search zone.

Three more bodies were found early today, bringing the total found so far to 37 of the 162 people on board, as ships and aircraft seeking debris and bodies from the plane widened their search area, Metro News reported.

The bodies were retrieved from an area where most of the plane parts were discovered. More aircraft debris, including seats, has also been found.

The searchers would continue to focus on finding more bodies and recovering the black box in the priority area mapped out by the authorities for the search.

The rescue teams expanded search eastward to locate large objects of the plane believed to be on the ocean floor. “Search sector expanded eastward, in view of d easterly direction of the current at d rate of 1 knot,” Malaysia’s Chief of Navy Abdul Aziz Jaafar tweeted this morning.





Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue director of operations Suryadi B Supriyadi said that at least five ships with equipment that can detect the pings of the plane’s black boxes have been deployed to the area.

“If it cannot be done by divers, we will use sophisticated equipment with capabilities of tracking underwater objects and then will lift them up,” he said.

Five large objects belonging to the crashed jet were retrieved from the Java Sea on Sunday. But rescuers battled bad weather in their efforts to reach the fuselage believed to contain the remaining victims.

“Today’s search mission once again depends on the weather,” Supriyadi said.

Divers are on standby, and heavy equipment will be deployed to lift wreckage should “all efforts fail”, said Bambang Soelistyo, Head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

There are 229 experts from 27 institutions assisting in the identification process.

Police said it has collected DNA samples of 146 of 162 people on board the ill-fated plane.



Key developments in AirAsia search operations
 
Search area expanded

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue director of operations Suryadi B Supriyadi said that at least five ships with equipment that can detect the pings of the plane’s black boxes have been deployed to the area.


Indonesia cracks down on aviation sector

Harsh measures against everyone who allowed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off without proper permits including the suspension of the airport’s operator and officials in the control tower. >Read more…

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Allianz is lead insurer

The Munich-based reinsurance giant said on Monday that its subsidiary Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty U.K. is the lead insurer for AirAsia, including for liability insurance.


Here’s what AirAsia has had to say over the mishap:

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues." >Read more…


Differences between the AirAsia and the MH370 accidents

The disappearance of an AirAsia passenger jet soon after takeoff inevitably brings back memories of the mystery behind Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared nearly 10 months ago and is yet to be found. >Read more…



Meanwhile, AirAsia’s Group CEO Tony Fernandes has reacted to media reports about the airline’s another plane having run into engine trouble while trying to take off on a domestic flight from Surabaya to Bandung.

“Silly headlines in Malaysia. Airasia Indonesia aircraft did not have a stalled engine,” Fernandes tweeted today.

Media reports said Flight 7633 was taxiing in preparation to take off on Saturday but the one of the power units on the plane failed.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:05:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/airaisa-flight-tragedy-searchers-may-have-located-tail-of-crashed-airasia-plane/article6756985.ece

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