Bodies and Debris Recovered From Missing AirAsia Plane

Source: AP
Source: AP

After more than two full days of searching for missing AirAsia Flight 8501, Indonesian officials confirmed the worst: The passenger airline likely crashed into the Java Sea.

Rescuers located wreckage, several bodies and debris from the plane in the choppy sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday, near the area where the jetliner last had contact with air traffic control, the Associated Press reports

Indonesian Air Force personnel carry airplane parts recovered from the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.
Source: 
Dewi Nurcahyani/AP

The plane was carrying 162 passengers and crew when it vanished midway through its flight on Sunday between Surabaya, Indonesia, and Singapore. It encountered stormy weather but never sent out a distress signal.

A fleet of more than 30 helicopters, ships and planes located what appeared to be debris from the aircraft, including life jackets and an emergency exit door. Rescuers also recovered a blue plastic suitcase in nearly perfect condition. The actual body of the AirAsia plane hasn't been found. 

Indonesian Navy officials said 40 bodies had been recovered before dusk. They didn't elaborate on the possibility of survivors, as slim as it might be at this point, Reuters reports

Commander of Indonesian Air Force 1st Operational Command Rear Marshall Dwi Putranto, center, shows the airplane parts and a suitcase found floating on the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, during a press conference at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.
Source: 
Dewi Nurcahyani/AP

Relatives, gathered at a crisis center in Surabaya, loudly wept as they watched images of the bodies being recovered on live television; several people collapsed after hearing the a reporter on the scene confirm the terrible news. "Many screamed and wailed uncontrollably, breaking down into tears while they squeezed each other," the Associated Press reported.

Following the confirmation of the plane's debris being located, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted that his "heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved" with the fatal flight. "On behalf of AirAsia, my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am," he added.


Search-and-rescue operations will resume in the morning. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan is a writer at the Live News desk. He's previously written for The Week, Betabeat, The Daily Dot and CNN.com.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.