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Main body of AirAsia jet found, black box contents downloaded

Doomed AirAsia jet’s fuselage was found in the Java Sea today, raising hopes of retrieving the missing bodies of the 162 people killed in the tragedy, as investigators downloaded the contents of black box recorders and were likely to crack the crash’s mystery soon.

The main fuselage of the crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was found by a Singaporean Navy vessel. Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said he hoped that locating the main wreckage of the Airbus A320-200 could help bring “some form of closure” to families of victims.

“Chief of Navy (Singapore) RADM Lai Chung Han just informed me that one of Singapore Armed Forces ships, the MV Swift Rescue, has located the fuselage of the AirAsia plane in the Java Sea,” Mr. Ng said on Facebook.

The words “now” and “everyone” are visible in the photos, apparently from AirAsia’s motto “Now Everyone Can Fly” painted on the plane’s exterior.

“Images taken by the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) show part of the wing and words on the fuselage. We have informed Basarnas (The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency, who can now begin recovery operations,” he said.

“The accident is a tragic event resulting in the loss of many lives. I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief,” Singapore’s Defence Minister added.

Indonesia’s national search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said divers would head to the fuselage on Thursday.

“It is already dark so we will carry out the dive tomorrow morning with the target to find the victims which may still be around it or trapped in the body. If the divers have any difficulty, the next step will then be to lift the body and the wing,” Mr. Soelistyo said.

He said two more bodies were found on Wednesday, taking the total number of corpses recovered so far to 50.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:59:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/main-body-of-airasia-jet-found-black-box-contents-downloaded/article6789334.ece

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