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SINGAPORE, January 20. /TASS/. Indonesian rescuers have brought ashore the fore part of the AirAsia passenger jet that crashed over the Java Sea last December, Suryadi Bambang Supriyadi, operation coordinator at the national search and rescue agency, said on Tuesday.
According to him, local fishermen on Monday night noticed the nose of the liner on the surface, after which the group of searchers towed a fragment of the aircraft on the shore. However, the cabin was not found, he added.
Divers in the meantime continue the operation to rise to the surface part of the fuselage, and possibly a wing of the Airbus. However, the rainy weather with gusty winds and a strong undercurrent seriously complicate the work of the rescuers. At the moment, 53 bodies of the jet crash victims have been recovered.
The 30-meter-long (100-foot-long) fuselage and an attached wing were sighted last Wednesday. Divers attempted to reach the wreckage Thursday and Friday, but were turned back because of the rough sea conditions.
Authorities believe many of the bodies are still inside the fuselage. There were 162 people aboard Flight 8501 when it crashed into the sea December 28 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, to Singapore. There were no survivors.
According to local reports, experts have heard the flight recorders, but have not yet named the cause of the accident.
The Indonesian airliner A-320-200 took off from Surabaya to Singapore and air traffic controllers lost contact with the jet around 40 minutes after the takeoff.