Jakarta, Dec 30: Three out of the six bodies found in the Java Sea, confirmed as passengers of missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, were Tuesday recovered by a rescue team.
Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency, confirmed that the bodies and debris, suspected to be from the missing AirAsia plane that lost contact with the air control tower 42 minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s Surabaya city for Singapore Sunday morning, were spotted in the waters of Karimata Strait, west of Kalimantan island, Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported.
Of the six spotted bodies of the victims, three were reportedly retrieved by an Indonesian warship, KRI Bung Tomo.
The bodies were taken to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan province in Borneo island.
“A CN-235 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force spotted debris floating in the waters,” Soelistyo said.
A C-130 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force spotted another metal object floating in the water.
A Hercules aircraft also spotted a shadow, presumably resembling the shape of an aircraft submerged in water.
Soelistyo said that the KRI Bung Tomo spotted an object, probably an emergency exit door of an aircraft.
The ship, with the assistance of a helicopter, then conducted a search operation and recovered the emergency exit door.
“I confirm 95 percent that this is the location of the suspected debris of the aircraft,” Soelistyo added.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 was carrying 162 passengers and crew on board — 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans and one person each from Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and France.
Captain Iriyanto and First Officer Remi Emmanuel Plesel were the two pilots aboard the jet along with four cabin crew members — Wanti Setiawati, Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi, Oscar Desano and Wismoyo Ari Prambudi — and technician Saiful Rakhmad. (IANS)