Focus is now on retrieving remaining bodies: Joko

SURABAYA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the primary focus of the search mission now was to retrieve the bodies of the remaining passengers and crew members of the doomed Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

Joko, who was at Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan where several bodies and debris had been taken, said that a mass search operation would be conducted this morning.

"I was there an hour ago and I have instructed the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to conduct a joint operation with other international assets to look for the victims," he said.

He added that the operations had to be suspended at the location last night due to poor weather condition.

"We, however, have three warships on standby in the area before we can continue with our operations tomorrow (today)," he said.

Joko also expressed his condolences to the victims' families, adding that he too was saddened by the tragedy.

"We are all praying for the affected families to be strong in this challenging time," he said.

He thanked Malaysia, Australia, Singapore for helping in the search and rescue mission.

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