News / Asia

    Calmer Seas Aid Searchers in AirAsia Recovery

    Rescue team members look out toward the ship KRI Banda Aceh as dark clouds fill the sky during a search operation for passengers onboard AirAsia Flight 8501 in the Java Sea, Jan. 4, 2015.
    Rescue team members look out toward the ship KRI Banda Aceh as dark clouds fill the sky during a search operation for passengers onboard AirAsia Flight 8501 in the Java Sea, Jan. 4, 2015.
    VOA News

    Search and recovery teams took advantage of calmer seas Monday to expand the hunt for wreckage and victims of a passenger jet that crashed into the Java Sea eight days ago.

    As the recovery effort entered its ninth day, officials intended to send divers down to a large area where five large pieces believed to be that of the downed Airbus A320 have been found.

    Bad weather for the last week has hampered efforts to locate most of the 162 people believed to have been killed aboard Flight 8501.

    The plane crashed en route from Indonesia to Singapore during a storm, though no official cause has been determined.

    Murky waters forced divers to turn back Sunday, after nearing what officials suspect is the main debris field.

    “They made the dive but in the sea-bed the visibility was zero which means complete darkness, with muddy sea-bed. Also the current wind is about three to five knots. With this kind of condition, the diving effort is temporary suspended by the coordinator, they will try to use ROVs (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle) instead,” said Bambang Soelistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

    Recovery teams hope to reach what they believe is the plane’s fuselage to retrieve bodies and the aircraft's flight data recorders - the "black boxes" - located in the tail section of the aircraft.

    An official from Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency said Sunday the fuselage is believed to have broken into several parts, separating the tail from the rest of the aircraft.

    "Based on the findings we can say that the plane's body cracked or broke away or separated from its tail, from the side. There is still no confirmation on the exact location. The body was separated from the tail and the black box was located in the area of the plane's tail," said the official.

    Nine of the 34 bodies found have been identified.

    Indonesia's weather bureau said weather conditions were a factor in causing the plane to plunge into the Java Sea. The findings posted on the agency's website reference several other flights that experienced problems like engine failure and severe turbulence during storms in the area in the last decade.

    Before takeoff and during the last moments of the flight, the pilots requested to fly at a higher altitude to avoid a storm.  The request was not approved because other planes were in the area.

    The twin-engine jet disappeared from radar without a distress call nearly halfway into what was supposed to be a two-hour flight from Surabaya to Singapore.

    Indonesian authorities have temporarily suspended AirAsia flights from Surabaya to Singapore because the airline did not have a permit to fly the route on Sundays - the day of the crash.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Scarred flyer from: Southeastasia
    January 05, 2015 2:46 AM
    I hear that there are pilots who take illegal drugs to keep them alert for their jobs. This sounds scary indeed. Can something be done to prevent this sort of pilots from massacring people, not chickens, in the air?

    by: fixento from: PA
    January 03, 2015 4:26 PM
    Only in Indonesia would the weather bureau make a statement that weather was a factor in the crash before they have even recovered the data recorder. Bad weather, during the summer in the US their are thunder heads that reach up to 60,000 feet and if flying near thunder storms would bring planes down, there would be thousand of plane crashes a year. Either the plane had a problem or the pilots made bad choices. Two planes thatcrash in one year and another that was shot down [could have taken are different route around a war]. Change the name to Disaster Airlines.

    by: Zubairu Yahaya from: Nigeria
    January 03, 2015 2:01 PM
    When ever an accident occurred, that's when you start hearing about Suspension of companies and other personel. Why won't the authorities and agencies concerned do their job of mitigation rather than rescue and recovery which is always more expensive? This is same always even in my country. So sad.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora