01/15/2015, 00.00
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AirAsia QZ8501: fuselage identifed, rescuers attempt recovery of victims

The divers are searching for the bodies trapped inside the fuselage. The section is 28 meters deep in the waters of the Sea of ​​Java. Indonesian President Jokowi thanks those involved in the rescue operations and presses for the recovery of the bodies to be returned to families.

Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Teams of divers are currently engaged in the search for the remains of victims trapped inside the fuselage of the AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on December 28. Yesterday, experts identified the wreck lying on the seabed, after recently recovering the two parts of the Black Box - the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and internal communications log. These are essential to clarifying the causes that led to the crash. Most of the 162 people on board - passengers and crew members - are still missing; the hope is to find their bodies inside the aircraft and return them to their families.

Over the coming hours the divers will asses whether a recovery operation is possible. Yesterday a Navy ship in Singapore took some photos to the fuselage, confirming that it is the aircraft that crashed at the end of year. The section lies about 28 meters deep in the Sea of ​​Java, about 3 km away from the place where the tail of the aircraft was recovered.In Jakarta, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo thanked all who have taken part, for almost three weeks in the search operations for flight AirAsia QZ8501; in a televised speech he welcomed the identification of the wreck, and expressed his hope that the bodies of the missing - most of the victims of Indonesian nationality - are soon recovered and returned to their families.

The AirAsia plane, an Airbus 320-200, took off  the morning of December 28 from Surabaya bound for Singapore. At a certain point, the pilot sent a radio message, asking to climb to 11 thousand meters to avoid thick cumulus clouds. Immediately after the plane disappeared from radar and crashing into the seabed.

The vanished airplane carried 155 passengers: 137 adults, 17 children and a baby. Most of them are from Indonesia, but there is also a Briton, a Malaysian, a Singaporean and three South Koreans. The crew consisted of two pilots and five crew members, all Indonesians except for the French co-pilot.

AirAsia is a low-cost airline based in Malaysia. QZ8501 had been flying for only six years completing 26 thousand hours. It underwent a technical maintenance inspection on December 16. 

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