Sea conditions halt search for AirAsia fuselage

Sea conditions halt search for AirAsia fuselage
Air force soldiers push a helicopter to park during the search operation of AirAsia Flight QZ8501. Indonesian navy divers searched for bodies on Thursday in the fuselage of the AirAsia airliner that crashed into the sea, killing all 162 people on board.

High waves and strong currents in the Java Sea again prevented Indonesian Navy divers from accessing the fuselage and what is believed to be the cockpit of the AirAsia plane that crashed three weeks ago, according to officials.

A team of 15 divers attempted to reach the wreckage to examine it and calculate its weight, but failed due to unfavorable conditions, said Suryadi Bambang Supriyadi, director of operations at the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

Survey ships have located at least nine large objects, including the aircraft's fuselage, what is believed to be the cockpit and an engine, Supriyadi said. The fuselage is sitting on the seabed at a depth of 28 meters.

The 30-meter-long fuselage and an attached wing were sighted on Wednesday. Divers attempted to reach the wreckage on Thursday and Friday, but were turned back because of rough sea conditions.

"What we have so far is only a silhouette of the wreckage," Supriyadi told the Associated Press. "We need to deploy our divers to identify whether it's the cockpit or something else."

On Sunday, Basarnas found two more bodies near the location of the fuselage, taking the number to 53 bodies of a total of 162 passengers that have been recovered from the sea. The team still failed to lift the fuselage due to bad weather.

 

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