AirAsia QZ8501: Search and rescue team says no body found wearing life jacket
UPDATE: No bodies found with life jackets, says Indonesia's national search and rescue agency
Indonesia's national search and rescue agency said on Wednesday that no bodies have been found with floatation devices, reported Detik.com.
This contradicts an earlier report by Reuters, saying a body had been found with a life jacket.
Deputy Operations Major General Tatang Basarnas Zaenuddin said: "We have found one victim, a male, and a life jacket. They were separate, the victim was not wearing a life jacket."
"So far, we haven't found any bodies wearing life jackets."
A body recovered earlier today from the AirAsia wreckage site was wearing a life jacket, said Basarnas, Indonesia's search and rescue agency.
“This morning, we recovered a total of four bodies and one of them was wearing a life jacket,” Tatang Zaenudin, an official with the search and rescue agency, told Reuters.
Basarnas also believe that they have found the plane on the sea bed based on sonar images.
But officials said waves two to three metres (six to nine feet) high and winds were hampering the hunt for wreckage and preventing divers from searching the crash zone.
Questions have been raised about exactly how the crash occurred.
The fact that one person put on a life jacket would appear to indicate those on board had at least some time before the aircraft hit the water. It is also possible that passengers could have had time to put on a life jacket after the plane hit the water before it sank.
Pilots did not issue a distress signal
It should also be noted that the pilots did not issue a distress signal. The plane disappeared after it failed to get permission to fly at a higher to avoid bad weather. Permission was denied as there were other planes flying at that altitude.
Investigators are focusing initially on whether the crew took too long to request permission to climb, or could have ascended on their own initiative earlier, said a source close to the inquiry, adding that poor weather could have played a part as well.
Meanwhile, authorities in Surabaya were making preparations to receive and identify bodies, including arranging 130 ambulances to take victims to a police hospital and collecting DNA from relatives. “We are praying it is the plane so the evacuation can be done quickly,” Hernanto said.