Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 腾讯微博 Wednesday 3 June 2015

Hunt for missing AirAsia plane finds possible tail part, more bodies retrieved

(Xinhua)    13:58, January 06, 2015

PANGKALAN BUN/ JAKARTA, Jan. 6-- In a possible breakthrough of the multinational search for the missing AirAsia Flight QZ 8501, Indonesian officials said Monday they may have found the tail part of the plane, the section where the "black boxes" are located.

A piece of large debris their ship has found "has a high possibility of being the tail of the plane," Indonesian navy officer Yayan Sofyan told a press conference Monday in Surabaya, where the ill-fated plane had taken off before it lost contact with air traffic control on Dec. 28.

It was not immediately clear if the piece he referred to was among the five large objects found earlier.

On a separate occasion in Jakarta, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo released similar information, but in a much more cautious tone. "I am not saying it's the tail yet...That is suspected. Now we are trying to confirm it."

Rescuers are facing an uphill task to find the all-important black boxes, the crucial flight data recorders, as the search mission was constantly disrupted by rough weather in the search area. And as time goes without finding the "black boxes", the mystery surrounding what many feared was a crash will remain.

"We are racing against time as their battery would use up within 30 days. Now we have 21 more days left," an investigator with the Indonesian National Transportation Agency (KNKT) who called himself Nurcahyo told Xinhua.

Despite unfavorable weather conditions, relief workers retrieved three more bodies, bringing to 37 the total number of bodies found in the search operation.

The three bodies were rushed to state-run Imanuddin hospital in downtown Pangkalan Bun for brief identification before being transferred to Surabaya.

Some 260 medical workers from both inside and outside Indonesia are working to identify the bodies using finger prints, dental records and bone DNA.

In efforts to speed up the search mission, countries continue to offer support for distressed Indonesia, which has 155 of its nationals aboard the Airbus 320-200. The plane, carrying a total of 162 people, may have plunged to a tragic end after encounter with storm clouds.

China said Monday it has sent aviation experts and a rescue vessel to join the Indonesian search operation for the plane's black boxes.

Responding to a request from Indonesia, China sent an expert team to help with the search, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on its website.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Transport said the rescue ship "South Sea Rescue 101" has left the city of Haikou and is expected to arrive at the search site on Jan. 9.

Meanwhile, another vessel, "South Sea Rescue 115," is on standby, the ministry said.

The Australian Federal Police also said it has sent five forensic experts to Indonesia to help identify the bodies.

Three Australian disaster victim identification officers and two Australian civilian forensic experts arrived in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, on Tuesday.

The Australian federal government also revealed that it is prepared to provide more specialist officers when and if they are required.

"Australian agencies ... remain in ongoing direct contact with their Indonesian counterparts to offer support for the Indonesian response to the loss of flight QZ8501," an Australian federal government spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has agreed to an Indonesian request to provide a flight recorder specialist when needed."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

Add your comment

Related reading

Full coverage

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words