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Russian Emergencies Ministry: weather in AirAsia search area prevents full-scale work

January 04, 2015, 21:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Emergencies Ministry operations group working in Indonesia

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MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. The weather conditions in the area of search for a Malaysian aircraft believed to have recently crashed do not make it possible to conduct full-scale underwater work, Eduard Chizhikov, the head of a Russian Emergencies Ministry operations group working in Indonesia and the ministry’s key military expert, said by phone on Sunday.

On December 28, an AirAsia airliner, A320-200, disappeared from radar screens about 40 minutes after its departure from Indonesia to Singapore, presumably crashing in the area of Kalimantan (Borneo) Island. The jet was carrying 155 passengers and seven crewmembers.

On January 2, a Russian Emergencies Ministry interservice team numbering over 70 rescuers arrived in Indonesia to take part in an international rescue and search operation.

“The Emergencies Ministry group continues its work. The operation chiefs have defined the area of responsibility of Russian rescuers in the water area, its total area is 53 square kilometers. But the weather conditions in the search area do not allow to fully use rescuers’ underwater search capabilities,” Chizhikov said.

He said the Russian rescuers have been instructed in which part of the plane are the flight recorders that need to be discovered now.

“Work to search for them will become possible as soon as the weather conditions allow doing this and using divers and a remotely operated submersible vehicle,” Chizhikov said.

Aerial reconnaissance is conducted daily, a total of 112 square kilometers of territory has been searched. “Two objects on the surface of water have been detected that need further identification,” he confirmed.

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