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Rescuers retrieve three more bodies from crash site of AirAsia plane

December 31, 2014, 6:21 UTC+3 SINGAPORE
Two male passengers and one woman, a crew member
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SINGAPORE, December 31. /TASS/. Rescuers have managed to recover three more bodies from the area in the Java Sea where Malaysia’s AirAsia plane crashed, the head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency said on Wednesday.

“We have managed to retrieve three bodies: two male passengers and one woman, a crew member,” Bambang Soelistyo said. So far, a total of six bodies from those who were onboard have been found.

The search effort has been hampered by bad weather conditions, he said.

“A part of the equipment involved in the operation is currently in a standby mode,” Soelistyo said, adding that the equipment will be used in the effort as soon as the weather improves.

Indonesia is leading the search operation for the airliner, because the contact was lost with the jet, when it was flying in its responsibility zone.

The search team includes representatives of Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore. Around 30 vessels, 15 aircraft and 20 helicopters are involved in the effort, which is hampered by bad weather.

On Tuesday, rescuers found three bodies, but not 40 as it was reported earlier. A door to the passenger cabin and a hatch of the luggage compartment were found in the sea 160 kilometers southwest of the town of Pangkalan Bun.

An AirAsia airplane with 155 passengers and 7 crew members onboard disappeared from radars last Sunday some 40 minutes after departure from Indonesia for Singapore.

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