Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen.Moeldoko has said TNI personnel are striving to recover the bodies of AirAsia flight 8501 victims in spite of the bad weather currently hampering the search operation.
"We will not stop even though there are strong winds and high waves," said Moeldoko while visiting the families of AirAsia victims at the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) post at the East Java Police headquarters in Surabaya on Monday.
He further said, "Our soldiers have risked their own lives to carry out their responsibilities and duties. So please entrust the TNI and its counterparts, including the international community and countries that have agreed to join with us in this search operation".
During the visit, Moeldoko offered the families of AirAsia victims the chance to witness the recovery of bodies and debris of the QZ8501 aircraft in waters around the Karimata Strait.
"I think making the offer was necessary. If they want to join us then we will prepare a Hercules aircraft that will transport them from Surabaya to Pangkalan Bun, where they'll be taken to the search site on a warship," said Moeldoko.
He said a number of family members had accepted the offer.
Two aircraft - Hercules C130 and CN 295 - are being prepared to transport the families from Juanda International Airport to Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.
"Apart from witnessing search efforts, the families will also be invited to sow flowers in waters thought to be the crash site of flight QZ8501," said Moeldoko.
Meanwhile, National Police chief Gen.Sutarman assured that bodies of recovered AirAsia victims would be identified and handed over to their families.
"Hopefully, all recovered victims will be identified no matter their conditions, but it might take time to identify them," said Sutarman.
The team already has the antemortem data of all QZ8501 passengers and crew; however, the bodies have begun to decompose.
"Thus, the DVI team will have to identify the bodies with the help of dental records," said Sutarman, adding that the team had obtained the dental records of at least 60 victims.