AirAsia crash: Search personnel fail to lift plane's tail

ArrayJakarta: A senior official at Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) on Friday said the operation to lift the tail of the crashed AirAsia plane was hindered by heavy weather."The efforts are yet to
airasia crash search personnel fail to lift plane...
IANS January 10, 2015 10:56 IST

ArrayJakarta: A senior official at Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) on Friday said the operation to lift the tail of the crashed AirAsia plane was hindered by heavy weather.

"The efforts are yet to succeed due to strong undersea stream and low visibility suffered by the divers as weather has changed fiercely at the location," Director of Operation and Training of Basarna, S.B. Supriyadi told Xinhua news agency over phone.

He said that the military team tasked to lift up parts of the plane's wreckage found that sands and mud has poured into the wreckage, making parts planned to be lifted up heavier than initial calculations by the team.

"The weight of the parts we planned to lift up has increased from 10 to 30 tonnes. Now the team is making new calculations to ensure the success of its operation," Supriyadi said.

The Indonesian military has prepared a crane with a lifting capacity of 70 tonnes and huge balloons to facilitate the operation.

The official said that the operation to lift the tail would resume Saturday should the weather be favourable to the mission. The search for the black boxes has been declared as priority of the operation.

Basarnas chief F.B. Soelistyo said earlier Friday that the aim of lifting up the tail was to check whether the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, known as black boxes, were still in place. Pings that possibly emitted from the plane's black boxes were detected early Friday.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashed in the Java Sea near the Karimata Strait Dec 28 en route from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew aboard, including 155 Indonesians.

Meanwhile, three more bodies of those who perished in the were found Friday by the international search teams, pushing the total of recovered bodies to 46.

"In total, we have found 46 bodies out of the 162 passengers of the plane," Antara news agency quoted an Indonesian rescue official as saying.

He noted that the three bodies found by the Japanese ships JS Katanami and JS Onami have already been transported to a hospital in the Kalimantan province of Indonesia's Borneo island.

 
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