Rescue officials recover 40 bodies

A spokesman for Indonesia's Navy, Manahan Simorangkir Kadispenal confirmed the discovery of the corpses bringing an end to the search for Flight Q8501 which had 162 people on board.

Rescuers in Indonesia have recovered 40 bodies at sea near the last recorded location of the missing Air Asia airplane, a spokesman for Indonesia's Navy said on Tuesday, December 30.

The spokesperson, Manahan Simorangkir Kadispenal confirmed the discovery of the corpses to Reuters bringing an end to the search for Flight Q8501 which had 162 people on board.

Six of the bodies had earlier been discovered swollen but intact, the Naval Aviation Center commander at the Surabaya air force base, Sigit Setiayanta, told reporters.

The airplane disappeared on Sunday, December 28, while making its way from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.

In response to the discovery, the Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes tweeted:

“My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”

Some debris had earlier been sighted floating off the Kalimantan coast and the chief of Indonesia’s  National Search and Rescue Agency, Bambang Soelistyo stated that he was almost certain that it was the plane’s wreckage.

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