Weather remains a worry in hunt for AirAsia plane

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Jakarta/Singapore, Jan 2: More ships were deployed on Friday with high-end equipment to locate the fuselage of doomed AirAsia jet even as the weather, which has hindered the search the last several days, remained a worry.

Rear Marshal Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency, said bad weather was a worry, with forecasts of rain, strong winds and high waves up to 4 meters (13 feet) until Sunday.

Weather hampers hunt for AirAsia plane

Nine bodies have been recovered until now, Soelistyo said as the search in waters off Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan entered sixth day. So far, one victim of the crash has been identified and was returned to her family yesterday.

Earlier, officials said it could take a week to find the black box of the ill-fated Airbus 320-200 which went missing on Sunday after after taking off from Surabaya with 162 people on board.

Indonesian Transportation Safety Committee member Antonius Toos Sanitioso said, "It may take about a week to retrieve the flight recorder and that is if the sea was calm and there are no disruptions such as noise or other obstacles."

He said an independent investigating team will probe into the tragedy of AirAsia QZ8501. More than 90 vessels and aircraft from "numerous countries", including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States are involved in the search and rescue operation, said AirAsia.

The focus remains on evacuation of bodies. The multi-national search mission has also recovered a number of items belonging to passengers and the aircraft, such as two black bags, one grey suitcase, an aircraft ladder and metal debris.

PTI

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