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21 more bodies found in AirAsia search

The plane crashed in the shallow waters of the Java Sea off Borneo but rough weather and high seas have hampered the search.

Updated: 16.40

THIRTY BODIES IN total have now been recovered in search efforts following the AirAsia Flight 8501 crash.

21 bodies were found today, as rescue workers battled monsoon rains.

Indonesia Plane Indonesian military personnel carry coffins of victims. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Earlier, Indonesian recovery teams had narrowed the search area.

French and Singaporean investigators with equipment for detecting the signal from the plane’s black boxes were set to join the hunt for the Airbus A320-200, which disappeared from radar during a storm Sunday en route from Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Indonesia Plane A member of the Indonesia Red Cross prepares coffins for the victims. Source: Tatan Syuflana

The plane crashed in the shallow waters of the Java Sea off Borneo but rough weather and high seas have hampered the search for the fuselage and the bodies of the 162 passengers and crew.

Indonesia Plane Source: AP/Press Association Images

Search and rescue agency chief chief Bambang Soelistyo said today’s search was focused on an area of 1,575 nautical square miles, with 29 ships and 17 aircraft engaged in the operation. It is a tenth the size of Thursday’s search, which covered an area of 13,500 nautical square miles.

“There are two main tasks in this priority sector: First, to locate the biggest part of the plane’s body.

“The second task is to find the position of the black boxes, or flight recorders, which will be carried out by the KNKT (National Transport Safety committee) which start working today,” he told a press conference.

“Divers are already on standby at the navy ship Banda Aceh to dive on that priority area to locate the body of the plane,” he said.

“I hope we’ll get a significant result today.”

Singapore Indonesia Plane Messages for passengers on board the missing AirAsia Flight 8501 are placed on a board at Changi International Airport. Source: AP/Press Association Images

South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one Briton and a Frenchman — co-pilot Remi Plesel.

The plane was operated by AirAsia Indonesia, a unit of Malaysia-based AirAsia, which previously had a solid safety record.

Additional reporting: Associated Press

Originally published 8.42am

© – AFP 2015

Read: First victim of doomed AirAsia flight buried

Read: Q&A: What happened to missing AirAsia flight QZ8501?

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