Wreckage and Bodies of Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Found in Java Sea
Wreckage and bodies found 100 miles off Borneo in the Java Sea, are confirmed to be from the doomed AirAsia flight QZ8501, it has been revealed.
An investigation was underway after the plane – flying from Indonesia to Singapore – disappeared on Sunday after losing contact just 42 minutes into its journey. After three days of searching – and an agonising wait for the relatives of the victims – objects such as a plane door and oxygen tanks were spotted by a fisherman in the Java Sea.
At least six bodies have now also been discovered. The bodies – which were not wearing life jackets – are beginning to be brought back. Relatives were first made aware of the grim discovery from TV footage shown to them which displayed dead bodies floating in the sea, surrounded by parts of the plane.
The videos were shot from a helicopter and caused an outcry at Surabaya Airport in Indonesia, where the plane departed from early on Sunday morning. Many relatives sobbed uncontrollably as images of floating bodies and debris flashed across the screen.
A suitcase which belonged to one of the victims was shown by the Commander of the 1st Indonesian Air Force, Dwi Putranto.
Air Asia’s boss, Tony Fernandes, tweeted that his “heart is filled with sadness” before rushing to Surabaya Airport to comfort distraught relatives.
“It’s an experience I never dreamt of happening and it’s probably an airline CEO’s worst nightmare,” he stated. “The passengers were on my aircraft and I have to take responsibility for that.”
The final contact with Indonesia’s air traffic control stated that the pilot requested to turn left in order to avoid a storm at 06:12am local time, which was granted. He then requested to fly at an altitude of 38,000 feet instead of 32, 000 feet, but did not give a reason. His request was denied because there was already another plane flying at that altitude. The pilot did not respond again.
In total, there were 162 people on board, comprising of 155 passengers and seven crew members.