The search and rescue efforts led by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia continued this morning as weather conditions marginally improved with waves of 1.5 – 2 meters.
Entering the eighth day of the mission, the search operation area was expanded to the east part of the Java Sea following the underwater current forecast.
In addition, more than 80 deep sea divers have been deployed in order to get a visual confirmation on two large objects – suspected to be part of the aircraft’s fuselage – captured by the sonar device yesterday as well as the aircraft’s blackbox.
BASARNAS recovered four more remains today as well as debris such as the emergency exit window, luggage, passenger seats and survival kits, which are believed to be from the aircraft. The remains will be transported to Surabaya tonight for identification.
Meanwhile in Surabaya, The Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today identified three remains of QZ 8501 guests as Wismoyo Ari Prambudi (male), Jie Stevie Gunawan (female), and Juanita Limantara (female). Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer AirAsia Indonesia handed over the three remains to the respective families this afternoon.
To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered 34 remains, of which nine remains have been identified by the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) with 25 remains awaiting identification. As many as seven DVI experts from Singapore have also arrived today to support the identification process. A number of DVI experts from South Korea and Australia will also support DVI POLRI to identify the victims tomorrow.
SAR efforts will continue tomorrow with waves forecasted to be at 2 – 2.5 meters. The priority of the search is now on deep sea diving in the area where the aircraft body is said to be located. BASARNAS also confirms that the mission will be be supported by China that will be focusing on the blackbox search.
AirAsia would like to take this opportunity to urge the public seeking progress on the search and evacuation and identification process of QZ 8501 passengers to refer solely to official information from BASARNAS and DVI Polri.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ 8501.