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Saturday, January 03, 2015, Poush 20, 1421, Robiul Awal 11, 1436 Hijr


AirAsia QZ8501: Rescuers 'find two large objects'
Observer Online Desk
Published : Saturday, 3 January, 2015,  Time : 10:40 AM,  View Count : 19
Search teams scouring the Java Sea for the wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501 have found "two large objects", Indonesian officials say.

Search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo said a remotely operated underwater vehicle was being lowered to take pictures.

However, bad weather and heavy seas continue to hamper operations.

The jet disappeared with 162 people on board while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore last Sunday.

So far 30 bodies have been recovered in the search. No survivors have been found and the main sections of the Airbus A320 have not been located.

Specialist equipment has arrived to the search for the plane's "black box" flight recorders.

Mr Soelistyo said on Saturday: "As I speak we are lowering an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) to get an actual picture of the objects detected on the sea floor. All are at the depth of 30 metres."

He said the larger of the objects was 10 metres by five (32ft by 16ft) but that strong currents made operating the underwater vehicle difficult.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

In another development, it has emerged that AirAsia did not have official permission to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sunday - the day of the crash - but was licensed on four other days of the week.

The Indonesian authorities are suspending the company's flights on this route with immediate effect pending an investigation, a transport ministry statement said.

BBC/TF





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