Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Queries of the last days on the fate of the AirAsia airplane received an answer last night, when the first bodies - along with some parts of the aircraft - were recovered by search teams in the Java Sea. Authorities have officially confirmed that they pertain to Flight QZ8501. Hope, still nurtured by family members of the passengers, turned to weeping and despair. At the sight of the images of dead bodies broadcast on Indonesian television, two people collapsed and fainted. "My heart will break if what I saw is true", 60-year-old Dwijanto, whose son was on the plane, said. "We just want to say farewell" one woman added.
For the moment, six bodies have been recovered. One is of a woman, wearing the uniform of the airline crew. Indonesian authorities explain that the ongoing storm, strong winds and waves that are 3 meters high, render recovery operations difficult. Moreover, with the passing of hours, it may become impossible to identify the bodies once they are recovered.
On board the flight there were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and a baby, along with two pilots and five crew members.
Tony Fernandes, President of AirAsia, rushed to Surabaya Airport where family members of the passengers on board are gathered, waiting for news. "Words can't express what these people are going through", he said.
When the television showed the first body floating on the water, relatives of the victims broke down in tears and embraced each other. Some demanded the intervention of ambulances. A man covered his face with his hands, fainted and was taken away on a stretcher. A woman started screaming. The Mayor of Surabaya, who was present in the room with the families, tried to comfort them. "You must be strong - he said - they are no longer ours. Now they belong to God".
50-year-od Munif's younger brother, Siti Rahmah was on board the flight. "I'm trying to calm my family - he says - but it is difficult. The atmosphere has changed since they showed bodies floating. People have become hysterical".
54-year-old Ifan Joko, says he is still hoping in a miracle. His brother, Charlie Gunawan, together with his wife, three sons, and two other family members were on the plane. They were on their way to Singapore to celebrate the New Year. "I know that the plane crashed - he says through tears - but I can't believe that my brother and his family are dead. We are praying that they are still alive".