First AirAsia funeral as bad weather hampers search

January 1, 2015 3:06 pm
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Indonesian security guards and a relative carry a coffin with the remains of Hayati Lutfiah - a victim of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that crashed into the Java Sea -- during her funeral in Surabaya, on January 1, 2015/AFP
Indonesian security guards and a relative carry a coffin with the remains of Hayati Lutfiah – a victim of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that crashed into the Java Sea — during her funeral in Surabaya, on January 1, 2015/AFP

, INDONESIA, Jan 1 – Relatives held the first funeral for a victim of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Thursday as bad weather hampered efforts to locate the wreckage of the plane which crashed in the sea off Borneo with 162 aboard.

Nine bodies have so far been retrieved in the search for the Airbus A320-200, which disappeared from radar during a storm Sunday en route from Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Search officials said the return of rough weather was hindering efforts to locate the plane and the rest of the bodies.

“The problem we faced today is unfriendly weather conditions,” search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference. “The waves were between three and four metres.”

Pointing to weather charts, he said the search teams would persevere even though conditions were expected to remain bad for days to come. READ: Indonesia vows ‘all-out effort’ in search for AirAsia victims

“From tomorrow until the fourth, with the existing forces, calculations and tactics we have, we will still be fighting, but I hope we can still get some results despite having to face such conditions.”

He said a National Transport Safety Committee team was in Pangkalun Bun, a town on Borneo island with the nearest airstrip to the crash site.

“Tomorrow they will depart to try to find the flight recorder,” he said.

French and Singaporean experts were also set to join the search for the black boxes, which are crucial to determining the cause of the crash.

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