, JAKARTA, Dec 30 – A body was found in the sea Tuesday during the search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief said.
“At 13:25… we spotted a floating object believed to be one of the passengers’ bodies,” Bambang Soelistyo said at a press conference.
Relatives of the 162 people missing on the plane hugged each other and burst into tears in Surabaya, where the plane departed from, as they watched footage showing a body floating in the sea on a television feed of Soelistyo’s press conference in Jakarta.
They hugged one another and continued crying until an AirAsia officer shouted, “This is crazy”, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
The situation at the centre was tense and emotional, with some hysterical and crying non-stop.
One man fainted and had to be taken out on a stretcher.
An air force plane Tuesday spotted a “shadow” on the seabed believed to be the missing AirAsia jet, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief said.
“God blessed us today,” Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference.
“At 12:50 the air force Hercules found an object described as a shadow at the bottom of the sea in the form of a plane,” he said.
Soelistyo said the search was now being concentrated on the location where the “shadow” and debris had been found, around 160 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of the town of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan on Borneo island.
“All elements in the areas and search and rescue personnel will be moved to the location,” he said.
“Their job is to find and evacuate all objects or passengers’ bodies,” he said.
“I will make sure that all of them will be brought to Pangkalan Bun, the closest airstrip from the object’s location,” he said.