QZ8501 LIVE UPDATES DAY 4: Coffins arrive at local hospital in Pangkalan Bun

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UPDATE (5.20PM) Coffins of victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501 have been transferred to a local hospital in Pangkalan Bun

Indonesian military personnel carry coffins of victims recovered from Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501, upon their arrival at the military airbase in Surabaya.

Indonesian military load a casket containing the body of an AirAsia flight QZ8501 passenger into a vehicle at a military base in Surabaya.

Air Force soldiers carry a coffin containing the body of a passenger onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Iskandar airbase in Pangkalan Bun district.

Photos: AFP, Reuters

UPDATE (5.10PM): 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

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."

UPDATE (4.40PM): AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes tweets from Pangkalan Bun











UPDATE (4.35PM): Minister of Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen offers two more navy vessels for search efforts




UPDATE (4.14PM): A body recovered earlier today from the wreckage site was wearing a life jacket.

An official with Indonesian search and rescue agency, Basarnas told Reuters: "This morning, we recovered a total of four bodies and one of them was wearing a life jacket."

This has raised questions of 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.

Meanwhile, officials said waves two to three metres high and winds were hampering the hunt for wreckage and preventing divers from searching the crash zone.

UPDATE (2.30PM): The first two bodies out of the seven recovered have arrived at the airport in Pangkalan Bun.


UPDATE (2.03PM): One more body recovered by search and rescue crew. Total number of bodies recovered is now seven.

UPDATE (12.40PM): 93 families have given DNA samples to assist in the identification process

Some 130 ambulances are also on standby at an airbase in Surabaya this morning. They will transport the bodies of passengers on board the flight.

The bodies will be brought to a nearby hospital inside a police complex, where cold storage containers have been prepared to hold 150 bodies, said Colonel Dr Budiyono, head of East Java regional police's health services.

UPDATE (12.04PM): Indonesian sonar shows suspected body of AirAsia plane on sea bed

Indonesia’s search-and-rescue agency has obtained a sonar image it says may be the body of the missing AirAsia jet at the bottom of the Java Sea, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The newspaper quoted the agency as saying the image appeared to show an airplane upside down in 24-30 meters of water.

UPDATE (10.39AM): Three more bodies have been found

Detik reports that three more bodies - two males and one female - have been found according to Basarnas, Indonesia's national search and rescue agency.

Three bodies were evacuated yesterday bringing the total number of bodies found to six. 

UPDATE (10.08AM): AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes will fly to the evacuation site



UPDATE (9.28AM): Singapore vessels will assist with the search operations

With the discovery of the QZ8501 wreckage, the Singapore Navy's three vessels RSS Supreme, RSS Valour and RSS Persistence (below) will be redirected to the area where the debris was found. 

TNP photojournalist Ariffin Jamar is on board RSS Persistence. Check out his blog for more udpates.

Another vessel, the MV Swift Rescue, departed from Singapore last night and will join the operation once it arrives. The rescue vessel is equipped with sensors and sonars to detect signals from the plane's black box. 

Specialists from the Transport Ministry's Air Accident Investigation Bureau will depart for the search area today. Hydrography experts from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will also join the operations. 

UPDATE (9AM): More wreckage found

The search operation was halted last night due to huge swells.

 Detik reports that some of the items retrieved from the wreckage last night include kids' shoes, a few containers of food, a toolbox, two plane doors, one emergency window, a camera, and a small blue luggage.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo said that the "massive search by ships and helicopters" will focus on finding and recovering the victims.

Locating QZ8501's data recorders is also of key importance.


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