The search for Air Asia Flight 8501, which had been missing since Sunday morning, has ended. Wreckage from the plane was found off Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast and bodies have been retrieved. CCTV America’s Barnaby Lo reported this story from the island of Beltiung, Indonesia.
Searchers find wreckage, bodies from AirAsia jetThe search for Air Asia Flight 8501 which had been missing since Sunday morning has ended. Wreckage from the plane was found off Indonesia's Kalimantan coast and bodies have been retrieved. CCTV America's Barnaby Lo reported this story from the island of Beltiung, Indonesia.
The airliner’s disappearance halfway through a two-hour flight between Surabaya, Indonesia, and Singapore triggered an international hunt for the aircraft involving dozens of planes, ships, helicopters, and even aid from local fishermen. It is still unclear what brought the plane down.
As news broke of debris and bodies being spotted off the coast of Kalimantan, search teams were instructed to stop their operations.
Images of the debris and a bloated body shown on Indonesian television sent a spasm of anguish through the room at the Surabaya airport where relatives awaited news. The first sign of the jet turned up about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from its last known coordinates. Parts of the interior, including the oxygen tank, were brought to the nearest town of Pangkalan Bun.
Another find included a bright blue plastic suitcase, completely unscratched. First Adm. Sigit Setiayanta, commander of the Naval Aviation Center at Surabaya Air Force base, told reporters six corpses were spotted about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Central Kalimantan province.
Rescue workers descended on ropes from a hovering helicopter to retrieve bodies. Efforts were hindered by 2-meter (6-foot) waves and strong winds, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Director SB Supriyadi said.
In a news conference, Indonesian President Joko Widodo made it clear that aiding families of the passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight were the priority.
“My deep condolences go out to the families of the passengers and crew. I am feeling their loss and pray that they are given all the courage and strength to face this tragedy. We will focus on the evacuation of passengers and flight crew as quickly as possible,” the president said.
Families of passengers on missing AirAsia flight have struggled to cope with their grief.
Story compiled from CCTV America and AP reports.
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