Hopes fade of finding more AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash victims

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Jakarta | Published: January 28, 2015 3:09:58 PM

Hopes today faded of finding 92 victims still missing from an AirAsia plane crash as Indonesian search...

airasia crash, airasia qz8501, airasia fuselage, airasia missing, airasia black boxSingapore?s search operation to locate the debris of the crashed AirAsia plane came to end today. (AP)

Hopes today faded of finding 92 victims still missing from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash as Indonesian search and rescue authorities said the remaining bodies could have been swept away or lost on the seabed.

Tony Fernandes-led AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 went down in the Java Sea on December 28 in stormy weather with 162 people on board, during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

So far just 70 bodies have been recovered. Authorities had hoped that the majority of the passengers and crew would be in the plane’s main section, but after several days searching the fuselage, they said no more bodies could be located.

AirAsia updated on its Twitter handle about the flight:

“They could be on the seabed, or have been swept away by waves and currents,” S B Supriyadi, a search and rescue agency official who has been coordinating the hunt, told AFP.

The Indonesian military, which has provided the bulk of personnel and equipment for the operation, withdrew from the search yesterday due to the failure to find more victims, and after several failed attempts to lift the damaged fuselage.

The country’s civilian search and rescue agency has said it will push on with the hunt for at least a week, with three aircraft, several ships, and divers.

Relatives lay flowers on the coffin of victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 Yongki Jou and his son Brian Youvito Jou, during their cremation procession in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Divers were hoping to zero in on the flight's black boxes Thursday, after search and recovery operations got a much-needed boost with the discovery of a chunk of the plane's tail - nearly two weeks after it plummeted into the sea, killing everyone onboard. (APRelatives lay flowers on the coffin of victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 Yongki Jou and his son Brian Youvito Jou, during their cremation procession in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (AP)

While Supriyadi suggested it would be tough to find any more victims, the agency’s chief Bambang Soelistyo nevertheless said he was “optimistic”.

Soelistyo said search and rescue teams were being given two days’ break after weeks searching in inhospitable conditions, but will push on with the hunt afterwards.

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