Pangkalan Bun (Indonesia), Jan 1: A much needed break in the weather gave searchers a window today to "fight with full force" to find the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, with officials also hustling to locate the fuselage of the plane that crashed in the sea four days ago.
Only seven of the 162 bodies have been recovered so far, with four of them found over the past two days arriving today morning in Pangkalan Bun on Borneo island. They will later be flown for identification to Surabaya, where the two-hour flight to Singapore originated on Sunday.
"The visibility is good this morning, we are ready to fight with full force to search for bodies, wreckages that can reveal what went wrong with this accident," said First Marshal Agus Dwi Putranto, an Air Force Operation commander helping to lead the search, adding four aircraft were dispatched to the area just after sunrise.
Choppy conditions had prevented divers from entering the water yesterday, and helicopters were largely grounded. But 18 ships surveyed the narrowed search area. Sonar images identified what appeared to be large parts of the plane, but strong currents were moving the debris.