Divers enter water in search of wreckage from AirAsia jet

A Navy ship sails on the Java Sea during a search operation for the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, off Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia.   | Photo Credit: Achmad Ibrahim

At least two divers plunged into the choppy waters early on Wednesday during a break in the bad weather to search for two large objects suspected of being chunks of the fuselage of the AirAsia plane that crashed more than one week ago, an Indonesian official said.

A U.S. Navy ship, the USS Fort Worth, detected the latest two objects on Tuesday at a depth of 92 feet near the Karimata Strait off Indonesia.

“We will start to identify the wreckage, which appears to be part of the jet’s body, as quickly as possible,” Indonesian search and rescue operation coordinator Tatang Zainudin said, adding that teams equipped with a remote-operated vehicle will also try to capture images of the objects.

So far, seven objects suspected to be parts of the plane have been detected by sonar on the ocean floor, but strong currents, silt and mud have kept divers from seeing or reaching them.

Mr. Zainudin said the bad weather that has held up the search was “frustrating.”

Two more bodies were retrieved on Tuesday, bringing the total to 39. But there are concerns that it will become harder to find the remaining corpses from Flight 8501, which crashed on December 28 with 162 passengers and crew aboard.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:43:44 AM |

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