FLIGHT 8501

7 Bodies Recovered From AirAsia Crash

Seven more bodies have been recovered from the AirAsia Flight 8501 wreckage at the bottom of the Java Sea, six of which were discovered by a U.S. Navy ship, an Indonesian official announced Friday. Searchers have found 16 bodies so far, with more than 145 people still missing since the jetliner crashed into the sea off the coast of Borneo on Sunday. The search effort has enlisted international assistance including ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. to help locate the black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorders. “We will focus on underwater detection,” said Indonesia Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo. Nine planes featuring metal detecting equipment were also searching an 8,380-square-mile area Friday, while two Japanese ships outfitted with three helicopters were en route, Soelistyo said. Strong sea currents and poor weather conditions have made it difficult to locate the debris as it spreads. But Soelistyo vowed to recover the bodies of “our brothers and sisters... whatever conditions we face.”