Stormy weather has forced Indonesian divers to suspend the hunt for the bodies of passengers on AirAsia's Flight QZ8501, which plunged into the water at the weekend carrying 162 people.
"We are experiencing bad weather now. Rains and winds prevented us from resuming the search operation this morning," air force rescue coordinator S.B. Supriyadi said.
National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference Wednesday that six bodies had now been recovered, including a woman in crew uniform. Earlier reports that 40 bodies had been recovered were later put down to a miscommunication by navy staff.
"As soon as the weather is clear, the bodies will be brought to Pangkalan Bun," the town with the nearest airstrip to the crash site, said Soelistyo.
Ships and planes this morning resumed their scouring the seas around the site in the hunt for the plane wreckage and the all important black boxes that will hopefully tell crash investigators what happened to bring down the plane.
Aviation experts believe the fuselage may be easily found as the aircraft probably only broke up when it hit the water."The fact that the debris appears fairly contained suggests the aircraft broke up when it hit the water, rather than in the air," Neil Hansford, a former pilot and chairman of consultancy firm Strategic Aviation Solutions, said on Wednesday.Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control early on Sunday during bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.The Airbus A320-200 was carrying 162 people, mostly Indonesians. No survivors have been found.Indonesian President Joko Widodo said his priority was getting bodies off the bottom of the Karimata Strait in the Java Sea, where rescuers retrieved a plane door and other debris on Tuesday, so victims could be identified.