Fluctuating weather conditions and choppy seas continued to complicate the multinational search efforts to locate more bodies and black box of the ill-fated AirAsia Flight 8501 as divers struggled to scour the Java Sea for more remains from the crashed plane. Meanwhile, in first punishments in the wake of crash, all officials who were involved with AirAsia Flight 8501’s alleged schedule violation, would be suspended, said reports.
According to Indonesian search and rescue agency Chief Bambang Soelistyo, the search teams were expanding the priority search area on Tuesday as the weather had improved. Alos, underwater devices were deployed to help divers locate the plane parts effectively.
The weather on Tuesday appeared to be “pretty good” though there were chances that it might get uglier during the later part of the day, said Indonesia Air Force Lt Col Jhonson Supriadi.
Dozens of divers on Tuesday tried to take advantage of a brief break from bad weather as they continued to look for more debris and bodies (most of which is said to be trapped in the plane’s fuselage).
According to Indonesian search and rescue agency BASARNAS, the search area is currently focused in the east part of the Java Sea where more than 50 vessels, helicopters and more than 80 deep divers are deployed to focus on the black box search.
Talking to the reporters, search and rescue agency official Supriyadi, said there had been no “pings” detected yet from the black box of the crashed plane because it might be buried in the seabed or the turbid water was blocking the signal from black box`s emergency locator beacon.
“They haven’t found anything, maybe because the water is turbid and there is zero visibility…There’s a possibility it is buried in mud,” he said.
Yesterday, an Indonesian Navy vessel captain claimed to have found what he presumed to be the plane’s crucial tail section that generally contains black boxes – flight data recorders – that hold vital clues to what might have happened to the plane before it crashed.
However, it has not yet been confirmed by the search agency.
Also, yesterday, the divers searched three more bodies, taking the number of total bodies recovered to 37. They have been sent to Surabaya for identification.
Out of 37 remains, 13 remains have been identified by the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI).