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Indonesian official: Divers find body, likely to be AirAsia QZ8501 co-pilot

UPDATE: Indonesian divers have found a body believed to be the French co-pilot who was steering the AirAsia plane when it crashed on Dec 28.

Coordinator of the search and rescue effort S.B. Supriyadi said the body was retrieved from the front part of the fuselage during a search operation on Friday.

He told AFP:

“It is likely the body of the French co-pilot, wearing uniform with three stripes on (the) shoulder.”

A formal confirmation will be given after the Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team finish identifying the body, which is in poor condition, Supriyadi said.

Indonesian investigators last month said French co-pilot Remi Plesel was flying the plane before it crashed, rather than Captain Iriyanto, a former fighter pilot.


A handout photo of French co-pilot Remi Plesel. AFP photo/ Courtesy of the Plesel family

 

Flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather on December 28 in the Java sea during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Divers also found three bodies inside the main body of the plane on Friday and another three bodies near the fuselage today, bringing a total number of dead retrieved to 101, Supriyadi said.

Rescue services are still trying to lift the fuselage from the seabed using giant inflatable bags after earlier attempts failed. - AFP

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Indonesia search chief: Bodies of Air Asia QZ8501 pilots found, one retrieved

Indonesia's search and rescue agency Basarnas has found the bodies of both pilots of Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, it told a press conference on Friday.

Basarnas chief Bambang Soelistyo said the plane cockpit was found 20m from where the fuselage was located.

The bodies of the pilots were inside, still wearing uniforms and strapped to their seats, news portal Detik.com reported.

Divers have managed to evacuate one body, which has been taken on board rescue ship KN Pacitan.

The body could not be identified due to an advanced state of decomposition, Mr Soelistyo said, according to Detik.com.

The divers are set to go back down today to retrieve the other body.

Pilots of the ill-fated AirAsia flight, which crashed into the Java Sea en route to Singapore on Dec 28. Photo: Twitter

 

The jet crashed on Dec 28 en route to Singapore from Surabaya, with 162 people on board.

Ninety-eight bodies have been found so far, including the pilot’s body found on Friday and one more found in the waters off Pinrang, South Sulawesi.

Sources: Star Online, AFP

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