2 Jan 2015

Jet search moves underwater

7:38 pm on 2 January 2015

The search for AirAsia QZ8510, which crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday, is set to move underwater with the arrival of specialist equipment.

Indonesian military officers carry wreckage from AirAsia QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun, the town with the nearest airstrip to the crash site, on 2 January.

Indonesian military officers carry wreckage from AirAsia QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun, the town with the nearest airstrip to the crash site, on 2 January. Photo: AFP

A French crash investigation team will use sensitive acoustic detection devices to try locate the plane's "black box" flight recorder, the BBC reported.

The Airbus A320-200 was flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board when it vanished.

No survivors have been found and the cause of the crash remains unknown.

So far only 10 bodies have been found and brought ashore, with the search operation repeatedly held up by bad weather and rough seas.

One person has been identified as passenger Hayati Lutfiah Hamid - her funeral was held in Surabaya on Thursday.

The plane is almost certainly at the bottom of the Java Sea - several pieces of debris have been recovered but despite a massive five-day search the fuselage is still missing.

Officials say most of the passengers could still be inside.

The BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta said the hope was that the French-led team would have better luck than existing searchers in locating the "pings" emitted by the so-called black box.

This would help them locate the plane and, once retrieved, try to find answers as to what happened to it.

The head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, Bambang Soelistyo, said on Friday that wreckage and bodies were spread over a 5km area of the Java Sea off Borneo.

The search was now focussing on an area of 1575 nautical square miles, he told reporters.

"Divers are already on standby at the navy ship Banda Aceh to dive on that priority area to locate the body of the plane," he said. "I hope we'll get a significant result today."

An Indonesian search and rescue team helicopter carrying a victim and recovered items from AirAsia QZ8501 prepares to land on 1 January 2015.

A helicopter carrying a victim and recovered items prepares to land on 1 January. Photo: AFP

Indonesian military personnel carry coffins of victims recovered from AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Indonesian military personnel carry coffins of victims recovered from AirAsia QZ8501. Photo: AFP

Family members of passengers onboard missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 react after watching news reports showing an unidentified body floating in the Java sea.

Family members of passengers react after watching news reports showing an unidentified body in the Java Sea. Photo: AFP

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