- First funeral for victim of AirAsia flight 8501 is held in Surabaya, Indonesia
- The body was identified as Indonesian woman Hayati Lutfiah Hami
- Remains of Hayati Lutfiah handed back to relatives in emotional scenes
- Workers have resumed searches after being beaten back by dire weather
- Teams have promised ‘all out effort’ to recover more bodies from plane
- But have also warned it could take a week to recover plane’s black box
Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
18:23 EST, 1 January 2015
20:02 EST, 1 January 2015
The first funeral for a victim of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was held on Thursday, as officials vowed an ‘all out effort’ to recover the other passengers’ bodies from the sea.
The first body to be formally identified, Indonesian woman Hayati Lutfiah Hami, was handed to her family in Surabaya, who held prayers at her home before moving the body to a Muslim cemetery nearby.
‘I am grateful to God that my sister-in-law was found and I hope the rescuers find the others as soon as possible,’ Agung Wahyu Darmono, 38, said.
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The funeral of AirAsia flight 8501 victim, Hayati Lutfiah Hami, was held on Thursday. The Indonesian woman is the first passenger to be formally identified.
The body of Hayati Lutfiah, the first victim of the AirAsia crash to be identified, is handed over to weeping relatives at Surabaya police hospital where the plane initially took off
The body, previously known as B001, was identified by fingerprints, a necklace with her initials on it, surgical scars described by the family, and an identification card found on the corpse
A relative weeps as the first victim of the AirAsia crash to be identified is handed over. Search teams have warned this morning that it could take a week to recover the plane’s black box recorder
Police said body B001 was identified by surgical scars, fingerprints, a necklace containing her initials, and a red name badge pinned to her uniform.
Hayati Lutfiah Hamid, 47, was a school teacher who was travelling to Singapore for a family holiday with her daughter, husband and mother-in-law according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Search teams recovered two more bodies on Thursday, bringing the total to nine, after they resumed operations following bad weather which has so far hampered efforts.
Crews have been unable to investigate an object resting 100-165ft below the sea which is believed to be the remains of the Airbus A320-200, as officials have warned it could be a week before the plane’s black box recorder can be recovered.
After a Muslim cleric had said a prayer over Ms Hamid’s body, the casket was immediately taken to a village and lowered into a muddy grave, as Islamic traditions require bodies to be buried quickly.
An imam said a simple prayer as about 150 people gathered in the drizzling rain, and red flowers were sprinkled over the mound of wet dirt with a small white tombstone.
So far nine bodies have been found from Flight 8501 out of the 162 passengers and crew that were on board when the plane disappeared from radar.
The aircraft disappeared on Sunday while on route between Surabaya to Singapore shortly after the pilot radioed to report stormy conditions.
Workers began finding wreckage on Tuesday, with nine bodies pulled from the water near Borneo Island, including one wearing a life jacket and two others reported to be holding hands.
A minesweeper boat and private survey ship have since located a large object beneath the waves which officials believe to be the plane, though no ‘pings’ from its black boxes have be detected so far.
The remains of Hayati Lutfiah were handed over today (left) as rescue workers returned to the sea of Indonesia to search for more bodies. So far nine victims have been recovered (right)
Dive teams have promised an ‘all out effort’ to find more bodies today after rough seas and dire weather halted earlier efforts to investigate potential wreckage on the seabed
It is the middle of Indonesia’s rainy season, so strong winds, heavy rains, and rough seas have so far prevented anyone from descending to inspect the object.
Officials said that divers would not be sent underwater until there was a confirmed target.
Indonesia air force spokesman Rear Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said his men are ‘focusing on finding the body of the plane,’ adding: ‘There was something like a dark shadow once seen from a plane, but it cannot yet be proven as wreckage.’
Frogman commander Lieutenant Edi Tirkayasa said the weather was making the operation especially difficult.
Search teams have identified an object resting 100-165ft under the sea, which they believe to be the wreckage of the Airbust A320-200, but divers have been unable to inspect it because of dire weather conditions
Investigators are still not clear what caused the plane to crash, and say that it could be a week before the black box recorder, which contains essential data and recordings from the cockpit, is found
The bodies were found floating in the sea near Borneo Island, and included an air stewardess dressed in uniform, one person wearing a life jacket, and another pair reported to be holding hands
He said: ‘What is most difficult is finding the location where the plane fell – checking whether the aircraft is really there.
‘This is very difficult even with sophisticated equipment. With weather like this, who knows? We are still hopeful and optimistic that they’ll find it. They must.’
It is still unclear what brought the plane down about halfway into its two-hour flight, though investigators are working on a theory that the plane stalled as it climbed steeply to avoid a storm.
During the pilot’s last radio call he sough permission to climb above rough weather but was denied because of heavy air traffic. Four minutes later, the plane vanished without issuing a distress call.
The bodies are being taken to Surabaya (pictured), where the AirAsia flight originally took off, where many of the families have gathered and religious services are being held
Officials say it is likely that there are scores of bodies still trapped in the wreckage of the plane, but say they have not confirmed where the plane is and will not send divers in until they have a target
The cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders, or black boxes, hold data that will help investigators determine the cause of the crash.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas in Australia said there’s a good chance the plane hit the water largely intact, and that many passengers remain inside it.
He added that bodies recovered so far would have come out with a breach in the fuselage. ‘But most passengers still should have had their seat belts on, particularly as the plane was going into weather. The captain would have still had the seat belt sign on.’
Items recovered so far include a life jacket, an emergency exit door, an inflatable slide, children’s shoes, a blue suitcase and backpacks filled with food.
Bodies removed from the water are being sent to Pangkalan Bun, a town near to Borneo Island, before being transported to Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, where Flight 8501 took off.
Many family members have remained at the Surabaya airport since getting word that the plane disappeared.
Dive teams are on standby to search any wreckage for more bodies, but say it is extremely difficult to identify where exactly on the seabed the plane is, even with sophisticated equipment
The crash happened in the midst of Indonesia’s rainy season, meaning strong winds, rough seas, and heavy rains are making search efforts especially difficult
Workers have also recovered several items that they believe are from the plane, including a life jacket, emergency exit door, and emergency slide (pictured)
Other items found adrift in the ocean include children’s shoes, a blue suitcase and backpacks filled with food
‘Help us, God, to move forward, even though we are surrounded by darkness,’ the Rev. Philip Mantofa of Mawar Sharon Church about 100 relatives gathered in an airport waiting room Wednesday. About 40 members of Mantofa’s church died in the crash.
‘Some things do not make sense to us, but God is bigger than all this. Our God is not evil.’
Officials have not announced the identities of the nine bodies recovered.
Relatives have given blood for DNA tests and submitted photos of their loved ones, along with identifying information such as tattoos or birthmarks that could help make the process easier.
Indonesia is using a minesweeper craft and a private search vessel which have identified a large ‘shadow’ on the seabed which investigators believe to be the wreckage
While search teams have identified a large object they believe could be the wreckage, they say they have yet to pick up any ‘pings’ coming from the black box recorder
DATA APPEARS TO SHOW PLANE MADE ‘UNBELIEVABLY STEEP CLIMB’
The AirAsia jet which plunged into the Java Sea rose up as fast as a fighter jet and then dropped almost vertically into the sea as if being thrust down by a giant hand, crash experts agreed today.
Their conclusion is that the Airbus 320-200 was in the grip of weather so freakishly extreme that there was nothing the pilots could do to save the jet and all 162 people on board.
The plane behaved in ways ‘bordering on the edge of logic,’ Indonesian aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman said after examining figures leaked from the official air crash investigation team.
He said the jet climbed at a speed that would have been impossible for the pilot to have achieved – and then plunged straight down ‘like a piece of metal being thrown down.
‘It’s really hard to comprehend…the way it goes down is bordering on the edge of logic.’
Australian aviation expert, Peter Marosszeky, from the University of NSW, told the Sydney Morning Herald that, in contrast, he was baffled by the extremely low speed of the descent – as low as 61 knots – which would suggest the plane was heading almost straight down, explaining why it has been found in water just 10km from its last point of radar contact.
Both experts are in agreement that the jet went down almost vertically – and they also concluded that a freak weather pattern that placed the aircraft under extraordinary forces was to blame for its plight.