Basarnas: Debris show plane body broken

Modified 4 Jan 2015, 4:52 pm

QZ8501 DAY 8 AirAsia's Surabaya-Singapore flight carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members on board crashed into the sea off Kalimantan on Sunday morning after taking off from Surabaya in Java, Indonesia, at 5.20am local time.

Search and rescue (SAR) efforts are closing in on the wreckage site as bodies continue to be retrieved. To date no survivors have been found.

Malaysiakini brings you the live updates of information as it comes in.

Latest developments

  • Debris show that the plane's body is broken. Focus will be on finding the tail which is where the black box is.

  • Four more bodies retrieved bringing total to 34, while three other bodies are identified
  • Indonesian transport minister threatens to sack those who cleared QZ8501 for take off when AirAsia was not permitted to fly on Sundays
  • Search area widened eastwards to account for strong currents
  • Muddy seabed, worsening weather stall search
  • Indonesian weather department suspects icing as cause of crash
  • By noon five large sections of plane have been spotted underwater
  • Plane body broken


    Indonesian officials say debris found indicates the body of the plane was broken, Singapore's Today reports.

    The focus now is to find the tail, where the black box is located. There have been no pings from the black box.

    Separately, Channel News Asia reports that it took 20 search personnel to retrieve AZ8501's life raft.

    It was retrieved by Singapore vessel the RSS Persistence.

    Four more bodies retrieved

    8.15pm: The four bodies retrieved are two adult males and two adult females, Indonesia's Tempo reports.

    Disaster Victim Identification coordinator Hariyanto says the fourth body was in poor condition.

    "But the limbs were intact and there were personal items still attached to the body like the victim's wallet and clothes," he says.

    4.45pm: Four more bodies were retrieved, bringing total up to 34, Channel News Asia reports.

    The bodies were retrieved US ship USS Sampson and Singapore's RSS Persistence and brought to Pengkalan Bun.

    Separately, Indonesia officials tell a press conference in Surabaya that say three more bodies have been identified.

    - Juanita Limatara, 30;

    - Jie Stevie Gunawan, 10; and

    - AirAsia flight attendant Wismoyo Ari Pramudi, 24.

    The child was travelling his family who have yet to be found, a cousin tells the Singapore news network.

    Nine bodies have been identified thus far.

    4.15pm: Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan says a probe is underway to find out how QZ8501 was given clearance to take off by the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

    The Indonesia Slot Coordinator (ISDC) and individuals involved may also face sanctions.

    This is because AirAsia does not have permission t fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays.

    "This means someone gave them clearance (to take off), the ATC gave clearance, the Juanda Airport gave clearance, but based on what? Or did they not ask at all?

    "We will ask the management (ATC or the airport) to ensure no one involved works in air safety control.

    "If they need to be let go, then let them go" Indonesia's Detik reports him as saying.

    Search area widened east

    2.45pm: Basarnas chief says the search area has been widened eastwards to account for possibility of wreckage and bodies drifting from the original crash site, due to strong ocean currents, reports Komas.

    He says the area has been widened from 15.075 nautical miles to 20.700 nautical miles.

    He explains that a programme is being used to determine the coordinates of the search area, called SAR Mapping.

    Soelistyo says the programme allows them to predict the location of objects and bodies over time factoring in sea currents.

    According to Komas , 20 aircraft are being deployed in the SAR comprising four Indonesian Fix Wing planes and 10 helicopters, two Singapore and American helicopters each and one Fix Wing each from Korea and Russia.

    27 seacraft comprise 16 ships from Indonesia, four from Singapore, three from Malaysia and two each from US and from Japan.

    3.00pm: Searchers find an object believed to be the body of QZ8501, Indonesia's reports.

    The object (left) is nine metres long and is located about 30 meters deep.

    2.14pm: Singapore's Today reports an adult life jacket and three personal items believed to be from the wreckage are picked up by the crew of the RSS Valour early morning, and will be handed over to Indonesian authorities.

    Muddy seabed stalls wreckage search


    Indonesia search agency Basarnas' chief Bambang Soelistyo says divers in the search for QZ8501's wreckage have hit a snag because the seabed is muddy, reports Kompas .

    "In the seabed visibility is zero, it's very dark. The seabed is all mud," says Soelistyo at the Basarnas office today.

    He says the search team had started the day with high hopes this morning as the weather was good.

    However the weather has taken a turn for the worse, says Soelistyo ( right ).

    "Right now the search area is raining heavily and waves are high," he says, adding sea currents are presently 3 - 5 knots.

    The SAR team is now putting off efforts until the conditions improve, he says.

    Fifth large object spotted


    Indonesia search and rescue teams hunting for the wreck of QZ8501 have located a fifth large object on the seabed, agency chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo tells reporters today, according to Reuters .

    Three more bodies found

    12.30pm: Three more bodies have been found 108 nautical miles off Pengkalan Bun, the Straits Times of Singapore reports today, citing a report from Indonesia's Metro TV.

    The area where the bodies were found is the same location as the first body that was found, it further says.

    Weather today favours search party


    The weather at the sectors where search and rescue operations are taking place for the plane crash is expected to be "conducive" from 10am onwards today, reports.

    The Indonesian meteorological department released its weather forecast for today, and stated that only the window between 7am to 10am is expected to be not conducive.

    The rest of the day is expected to be favourable for the operations.

    The department also estimates wave conditions in the search area would be more conducive in the next two days, after bad weather and high waves hampered speeding up the search process over the past week. reports that the waves will be moderate and are expected to diminish over the next couple days, maximising potential for a sea search.

    Large parts of the plane reported earlier have yet to be retrieved.

    Icing may have caused engine failure


    The most probable weather phenomenon that caused the crash of QZ8501 is "icing" that can cause engine damage, the Indonesian meteorological department reportedly said in an early report on the possibilities behind the crash, AFP reports.

    It also says that the weather condition is likely to have been a "triggering factor" behind the crash that occurred last Sunday at the Java Sea, and that the plane appears to have flown into storm clouds prior to the crash.

    The find is based on analysis of meteorological data at the time of the incident.

    Four large sections of plane spotted


    Four large sections of the missing QZ8501 have been spotted underwater in three locations, reports Straits Times this morning.

    However, the search and rescue team is unable to photograph the wreckage underwater as undercurrent as strong as 2 knots is being reported.

    7.30am: AirAsia says Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) confirms that they have recovered 30 remains from the search area.

    In a wrap up report last night, the airlines says weather in the SAR area for today is forecasted to be much better with waves likely to decrease and remain at 2 - 3 metres, while will be good news for the SAR team.

    Yesterday sonar equipment detected two large objects on the ocean floor that may be the wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501.

    The 12 remains consisting of 9 male and 3 female arrived yesterday at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya to undergo the identification process.

    In addition, the Disaster Victim Identification of the Indonesian (DVI POLRI) yesterday confirmed two remains of QZ 8501 passengers, who were identified as Hendra Gunawan Syawal (male) and The Meiji Thejakusuma (female).

    The remains were handed over earlier yesterday at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya by AirAsia Indonesia chief executive officer Sunu Widyatmoko.

    To date, DVI POLRI has identified a total of six passengers while the 24 remaining remains are still being identified. DVI POLRI also confirms that the remains identification process will be supported by DVI experts from Singapore and South Korea, reports AirAsia.

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