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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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30 bodies retrieved so far from AirAsia plane crash area

There are 30 bodies found

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Indonesian officers carry coffins with the remains of passengers of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 Photo: AFP-Lehtikova news

Rescuers have discovered 30 bodies from Indonesian waters where AirAsia plan with 162 people on board crashed on Sunday, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency F. Henry Bambang Sulistyo said here Friday.

"So far, there are 30 bodies found that I have confirmed," he told a press conference.

He said that 10 out of the 30 bodies are being moved from the airport at Pangkalan Bun of Central Kalimantan to Surabaya, the capital of East Java province.

While four bodies were still at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, eight others are at two ships and the rest are already in Surabaya city, said Sulistyo.

The eight bodies in the two ships included seven at an Indonesian rescue ship KRI Bung Tomo and one at Malaysian rescue ship KD Pahang, he said.

"Now, the two ships are struggling against huge waves toward Pangkalan Bun, but so far they have not arrived,"  he added.

He said that huge waves up to five meters high hampered search and rescue operations on Friday. A drizzle and light clouds covered the area Friday, and rain, strong winds and high waves were forecast until Sunday. Strong sea currents have also kept debris moving.

Nine planes, many with metal detecting equipment, were also scouring a 13,500-square-km area off Pangkalan Bun. "We will focus on underwater detection," said Sulistyo, adding that

ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States had been on the scene since early Friday to try to locate wreckage and flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

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