Search for bodies from AirAsia crash called off

Search for bodies from AirAsia crash called off

The search for remaining bodies from the AirAsia crash in the Java Sea has been called off.

Ships involved in the search will then be pulled out today (Wednesday), the head of Indonesia's rescue agency, Bambang Soelistyo, told the BBC.

AirAsia lost contact with flight QZ 8501 on December 28 as it was flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board.

The search effort has recovered 106 bodies, with 56 unaccounted for.

The fuselage of the crashed aircraft was located in the Java Sea in mid January and the final part of it that was recoverable was removed at the end of February.

Divers established that those elements of fuselage that had to be left in the sea did not contain any bodies.

The bodies that were recovered were mostly found in and around the wreckage, with a few discovered some 1,000km away, off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Three were found as recently as March 14.

Indonesia's transport minister has said that radar data showed the aircraft climbing at an abnormally high rate.

It is thought to have been attempting to fly above a storm. The pilot's last contact was a request to divert around bad weather.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said last week that he was satisfied with the search operation.

"We have been successful ... To get more than 50% is considered a huge success," he said. But he added that the search could not "go on indefinitely".


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