Weather Stalls Search For AirAsia Black Boxes, First Victim Buried

Indonesian Air Force Super Puma helicopter of 6th Air Squadron uses a binocular to scan the horizon during a search operation for the victims of AirAsia
Indonesian Air Force Super Puma helicopter of 6th Air Squadron uses a binocular to scan the horizon during a search operation for the victims of AirAsia

Heavy seas reportedly stopped divers from reaching the possible wreck of an AirAsia Indonesia jet off Borneo on Thursday and an aviation official said it could be up to a week before the black box flight recorders are found. Reuters report:

Nine bodies have so far been recovered from the Airbus (AIR.PA) A320-200, which crashed on Sunday en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya with 162 people on board.

The bodies were brought in numbered coffins to Surabaya where relatives have gathered for identification. AirAsia Indonesia’s CEO Sunu Widyatmoko was seen weeping when authorities handed over the body of the first victim, Hayati Luthfiah Hamid, to family members at a Surabaya hospital.

Hamid, 49, was buried on Thursday before sundown in the suburb of Desa Sawotratap, a few kilometers (miles) from the city, at an Islamic ceremony attended by relatives and neighbors. Three members of her family were also on board the plane. “Their house has been in a panic since Sunday,” Umaroyah, a neighbor, said. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows someone who was on that plane.”

Searches on Thursday spanned an area of 13,500 square km (5,200 square miles) involving 19 ships, four helicopters and five planes, said Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency.

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