Divers Sent To Search Suspected AirAsia Wreckage As Weather Improves

Indonesian rescue workers carry part of a crashed AirAsia plane from a Singaporean Navy helicopter at the Iskandar Military Airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, 04 January 2015. Indonesia tightened pre-flight safety briefings for pilots in the wake of the crash, a news report said Monday. EPA/ADI WEDA

By Peer Meinert

JAKARTA (DPA) — Divers were making another attempt Tuesday to reach objects believed to be the wreckage of an AirAsia plane that crashed off Borneo with 162 people on board, Indonesia's rescue chief said. 

"Today the weather is friendly," Bambang Sulistyo said. "Our focus is to retrieve as many bodies as possible and we believe some of the victims are still trapped in the main body of the aircraft." 

Rescue officials said Saturday that ships equipped with sonar technology had detected four large objects they hoped were parts of the AirAsia Airbus A320-200's fuselage. 

Previous attempts by Indonesian Navy divers failed because of zero visibility on the sea floor and bad weather.

The confirmed death toll from the crash is at 37, rescue officials said, after the aircraft went down during a flight from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, to Singapore on December 28.

Officials said as days passed it was becoming hard to identify the victims' bodies as they have reached an advanced state of decomposition. 

Searchers were also racing against time to find the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, which could shed light on what went wrong with the flight. 

The aircraft did not send a distress signal before it disappeared from radar screens.  

 

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