34 bodies recovered so far, says AirAsia Indonesia

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 5): The Indonesian search and rescue (SAR) teams led by the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) of Indonesia have recovered 34 remains of victims of the ill-fated flight QZ8501, according to AirAsia Indonesia.

In a statement Jan 4, the low cost carrier said search and rescue efforts continued Sunday morning as weather conditions marginally improved with waves of 1.5 – 2 meters.
 
The airline said that entering the eighth day of the mission, the search operation area was expanded to the east part of the Java Sea following the underwater current forecast.
 
“In addition, more than 80 deep sea divers have been deployed in order to get a visual confirmation on two large objects – suspected to be part of the aircraft’s fuselage – captured by the sonar device yesterday as well as the aircraft’s blackbox.
 
“BASARNAS recovered four more remains today as well as debris such as the emergency exit window, luggage, passenger seats and survival kits, which are believed to be from the aircraft. The remains will be transported to Surabaya tonight for identification,” it said.

AirAsia Indonesia said that meanwhile in Surabaya, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today identified three remains of QZ 8501 guests as Wismoyo Ari Prambudi (male), Jie Stevie Gunawan (female), and Juanita Limantara (female).

It added that Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer AirAsia Indonesia handed over the three remains to the respective families this afternoon.
 
It said that to date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered 34 remains, of which nine remains have been identified by the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) with 25 remains awaiting identification.

It said as many as seven DVI experts from Singapore had also arrived today to support the identification process.

A number of DVI experts from South Korea and Australia will also support DVI POLRI to identify the victims tomorrow.
 
“SAR efforts will continue tomorrow with waves forecasted to be at 2 – 2.5 meters.

“The priority of the search is now on deep sea diving in the area where the aircraft body is said to be located. BASARNAS also confirms that the mission will be be supported by China that will be focusing on the blackbox search,” it said.