Dozens of bodies, along with aircraft wreckage and oxygen tanks, have been found floating the Java Sea, about six miles from where AirAsia flight QZ8501 last communicated with air traffic control.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Director SB Surpriyadi said that the bodies have been brought aboard a navy ship. “The warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now.”
He added than an air force Hercules had “found an object described as a shadow at the bottom of the sea in the form of a plane”.
Objects spotted yesterday have now been confirmed as wreckage from the flight after undergoing testing. AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes wrote on Twitter:
My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences … http://t.co/OJGobL93cR
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) December 30, 2014
The aircraft disappeared from radar on Sunday with 162 people on board while flying from Surabaya to Singapore. The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that one of the passengers was British – Hull-born Chi Man Choi, who was travelling with his two-year-old daughter.
Sky News reports that the aircraft’s last request to change course due to a storm was turned down, and minutes later the plane disappeared from radar screens without issuing any distress call.
Around 30 ships and 21 aircraft from five countries have been searching 10,000 nautical miles of ocean for the plane.