AirAsia QZ8501: 21 divers deployed for search

Jakarta, Dec 30 (IANS) The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency Tuesday deployed 21 divers to join in the search operation for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Java Sea.

“Some 21 divers comprising 11 Indonesian navy personnel and 10 rescue team members will search the AirAsia debris site,” agency head Bambang Soelistyo said.
He said that the divers would search 25 to 30 metres inside the sea in an area around the Karimata Strait, west of Kalimantan island where the AirAsia plane had lost contact with the air control tower 42 minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s Surabaya city for Singapore Sunday morning, Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported.
So far, the agency has covered 95 percent of the debris site in the Karimata Strait near Pangkalanbun, central Kalimantan province in Borneo island.
“Findings indicate that 95 percent of the location has been searched and the debris and objects recovered so far reportedly belonged to the AirAsia aircraft,” Bambang Soelistyo said.
Earlier in the day, three out of the six bodies found were recovered by a rescue team.
Objects that looked like metal plates were also found floating.
Some objects that look like airframe, emergency exit doors, and the bodies of passengers have also been spotted.
Ten objects believed to be plane debris were spotted by Indonesian Air Force official Agus Dwi Putranto who was flying to Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, on a CN-235 plane.
Of the six spotted bodies of the victims, three were reportedly retrieved by an Indonesian warship, KRI Bung Tomo.
The Airbus A320-200 was carrying 162 passengers and crew on board — 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans and one person each from Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and France.
Captain Iriyanto and First Officer Remi Emmanuel Plesel were the two pilots aboard the jet along with four cabin crew members — Wanti Setiawati, Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi, Oscar Desano and Wismoyo Ari Prambudi — and technician Saiful Rakhmad.