SAR team halts search for AirAsia victims

SAR team halts search for AirAsia victims
An Indonesian military helicopter returns from a search mission for AirAsia QZ8501 at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan January 4, 2015.

The joint search and rescue (SAR) team on Thursday stopped the search for victims and plane fragments of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 off West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi, as nothing was found on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, according to Makassar National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) head Roki Asikin, the SAR operation was not brought to an end and only personnel were withdrawn from the search location.

Basarnas personnel will continue to work, thanks to the presence of a command post in Mamuju, West Sulawesi.

"The search mission has been halted and we have pulled out our personnel, but the alert operation is still ongoing.

If there are signs of victims or plane fragments, we will immediately move to the location," said Roki at his office in Makassar on Thursday.

As many as 182 personnel have been deployed to scour and look for victims and plane parts in Majene and Mamuju regencies in West Sulawesi, and later extended to Pinrang and Barry regencies in South Sulawesi.

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