It’s been exactly a week since AirAsia Flight QZ8501crashed into Java Sea and the search team is yet to find the doomed plane’s black boxes and fuselage which is supposed to contain more victims.
As the search entered its eighth day today, the rescue team, in the morning, sent divers to examine the wreckage as on Saturday bad weather and rough seas proved obstructive.
On Sunday, the rescue officials managed to find one more piece of plane wreckage after four large objects were detected on Saturday. The fifth piece of wreckage is 9.8 metres long, 1.1 metres wide and 0.4 metre high and has been located in the sea floor in the search area, National Search and Rescue Agency head Bambang Soelistyo
Also, the search team has deployed a pinger locator to find the black box of the plane.
However, persistent rough seas and bad weather hampered the multinational search even on Sunday, .the head of Indonesia`s search and rescue agency, Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo was reported as saying.
The discovery of wreckage will help the investigating officials a great deal even as the plane’s black boxes, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, and the fuselage (where most of the bodies are believed to be trapped) are yet to be traced.
Meanwhile, Indonesian weather agency BKMG in a report has attributed “bad weather” to be the triggering factor behind the plane crash.
“Based on the available data received on the location of the aircraft’s last contact, the weather was the triggering factor behind the accident,” said the report.
“The most probable weather phenomenon was icing which can cause engine damage due to a cooling process. This is just one of the possibilities that occurred based on the analysis of existing meteorological data,” it said.
In last seven days of search, the rescue team has managed to recover some 30 bodies from the Java Sea and some of them (including that of pilot and co-pilot) will be autopsied to aid investigating officials.
“For the sake of the investigation, we agree, and it is accepted by Interpol, to perform autopsies on the pilot, co-pilot and some randomly selected passengers,” said East Java Police Chief Anas Yusuf according to a CNN report.
Meanwhile, Russian Search and Rescue team has also joined the search mission led by Indonesian agency BASARNAS.
Besides recovering bodies, the search team, with the help of sonar, has also found four large pieces of debris – believed to be the crashed plane’s wreckage.
The objects – one of which is 18 meters long — were located after the searchers spotted an oil slick late Friday.
The ill-fated Flight 8501 that went off radars just after 42 minutes of taking off, was flying to Singapore from Surabaya with 162 passengers. The plane’s pilot, Captain Iriyanto, had made a request to climb to 38,000 ft to avoid stormy clouds, however the permission was not granted as there was another plane in that route.
There was no communication from the plane after that.
Of 162 people on board the plane, there were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and one infant, along with two pilots and five crew. Majority of them were Indonesians.