Indonesian officials said sonar has detected wreckage from the missing AirAsia plane at the bottom of the Java sea and that three more bodies have been recovered, taking to six the number of bodies found.
The officials were, however, unsure whether the aircraft, which went missing with 162 onboard Sunday morning enroute to Singapore from Indonesida, is in one piece or has disintegrated, Xinhua reported.
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 had lost contact with the air control tower 42 minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s Surabaya city for Singapore. Its wreckage has been spotted in the waters of Karimata Strait, west of Kalimantan island.
Earlier in the day, three more bodies were recovered including of a woman in a flight attendant’s outfit.
“As soon as the weather is clear, the bodies will be brought to Pangkalan Bun (town),” Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency said.
Hundreds of soldiers, police and personnel of the national rescue agency have been deployed for the search operation though weather in the area remains unfavourable with waves as high as two to three metres.
On Wednesday morning, other vessels, including three warships and two survey ships equipped with underwater detectors, were on their way to the crash site to join the hunt for the plane’s black boxes.
On Tuesday, Soelistyo said at a press conference that an Indonesian Air Force C-130 Hercules saw a “shadow” under water, believed to be that of the AirAsia plane.