AirAsia Crash: Seven Bodies Recovered As Plane Is Found

Seven bodies have been pulled from the water along with luggage and debris, as salvage operations commenced following the tracking and location of the crashed AirAsia plane that was reported missing on Sunday.

There were 161 persons on board the plane.

The first seven corpses were spotted about 100 miles from Central Kalimantan province in Indonesia and rescue workers were lowered on ropes from a hovering helicopter to retrieve them.

According to the National Search and Rescue Director, SB Supriyadi, strong winds and towering waves hindered the salvage efforts at first but rescue workers continued their efforts in spite of the adverse conditions and succeeded in picking out seven bodies.

Some of the recovered bodies were fully clothed, perhaps, an indication that the plane hit the water intact. This would support a theory that the airbus suffered aerodynamic stall.

Also, one of the rescued persons had on a life jacket, suggesting that he had enough time to wear one before the aircraft went down.

Television coverage of the discovery caused an outpouring of grief from the family members of those on the ill-fated flight 8501 as they viewed footage showing the discovery of one of the victims of the disaster, a man whose head was partially covered by a shirt as he floated in the water.

The aircraft had on Sunday disappeared from radar while on a two-hour flight between Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore after encountering adverse weather.

The pilot had asked sought permission to fly at a higher altitude to avoid bad weather.

An international hunt was declared immediately, with many nations rushing to offer assistance in the search and rescue operations.

The United States sent a warship, the USS Sampson destroyer, joining at least 30 ships, 15 aircraft and seven helicopters in the search of the jet.



    Singapore sent in two underwater beacon detectors to be used to detect pings from the plane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders, while China has supplied a frigate to aid in the search. Malaysia, Australia and Thailand are also involved.

    The AirAsia group CEO, Tony Fernandes, has sent condolence messages to the families of victims via Twitter. His tweet reads ‘My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.’ He subsequently flew to Surabaya to pay respects in person to the bereaved.

    The cause of the crash is still uncertain. According to air travel officials, the last communication indicated the pilots were worried about bad weather. The pilots had requested permission to climb above threatening clouds, but were denied due to heavy air traffic. The jet disappeared from the radar four minutes after without issuing a distress signal.

    The plane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders or black boxes are yet to be recovered, so experts say that some of the earliest clues about what happened could only be gotten by autopsies on the victims of the crashed plane.




    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement