Always think how to do things differently. - Faudzil Harun@Ajak
1 January 2015
AIRASIA QZ8501 PLANE CRASH - Divers prepare to enter wreck of AirAsia QZ8501
Divers prepare to enter wreck of AirAsia QZ8501
January 1, 2015 - 12:57PM
Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Indonesian search and rescue unload the body of an AirAsia passenger at Pangkalanbun on the island of Borneo. Photo: Reuters
Surabaya: Search and rescue crews hope to take their first look at the fuselage of downed AirAsia jet QZ8501 early on New Year's Day as weather has eased enough to allow divers to swim down to the wreck site.
Suyatno, a search and rescue chief based at Kumai port on Borneo, told Fairfax Media that more than 50 divers from the Indonesian navy and search and rescue organisation Basarnas were preparing to go down.
It will be the first chance they have had to check how many bodies are still inside the wreckage.
Indonesian navy divers prepare to take part in the search of the crash site. Photo: AP
The seven bodies recovered so far have been plucked from different parts of the ocean by five different ships. They were swept away from the main wreck site by currents, leading to concerns that the recovery of the rest of the victims may be a long and haphazard process.
If most of the rest are still located inside the aircraft, it will radically speed up the recovery process, which the airline, search and rescue officials and Indonesian President Joko Widodo have all promised will be the priority.
After two of the bodies already found — a young man and an adult woman — arrived late yesterday in coffins marked 001 and 002, two more were delivered to from ship to shore overnight at Pangkalanbun, Borneo.
Indonesian women pray for the victims of the AirAsia tragedy at Pangkalanbun. Photo: AP
They were seen in coffins marked 003 and 004.
All the bodies will also be sent to the police hospital in Surabaya, where 15 autopsy tables have been set up in a tent to allow doctors and forensic experts begin the identification process.
The families of the missing people have been moved from a room at the airport to a tent in the carpark of the local police headquarters, Polda Jatim.
Divers should be able to begin answering lingering questions: where are the 155 passengers and crew members so far unrecovered; is the plane in one piece or many; are the wings and tail still intact; is the "black box" flight recorder able to be recovered.
Local media reports said two black box recovery experts were being flown from Britain to help with the latter task. One British citizen was on board the flight.
Police disaster victims identification chief Budiyono said the two bodies delivered to Surabaya so far were intact and in good enough condition for the doctors to conduct the identification.
Dr Budiyono has seen the bodies himself and he can verify that one is a female adult, and one what looks like a young male.
He was confident that they could be positively identified within two or three days.
AirAsia pilot and spokesman Captain Siregar said AirAsia would cover any cost incurred by the families from the moment the body was identified to the funeral.
"Whatever the family wants, we will cover the cost," he said.