AirAsia: Divers resume search for victims, debris

SansadTV Bureau

File Photo(PTI)

Navy divers on Monday resumed efforts to find more wreckage of the ill-fated AirAsia jet with no signal detected yet from the black box recorders, as 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.

The Airbus 320-200 Flight QZ8501, with 162 passengers and crew on board, crashed on December 28 in the Java Sea while flying from Surabaya to Singapore.

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.

Four more bodies and 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.

A total of 34 bodies have been recovered so far, nine of which have been identified.

“Today’s searching mission is still, once again, depend on the weather,” Supriyadi said.

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 on Monday.

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.