AirAsia crash: Indonesia officially ends search operations

An Indonesian official Saturday said the search operation for bodies and wreckage of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 has officially come to an end.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 28, 2015, 16:56 PM IST

Jakarta: An Indonesian official Saturday said the search operation for bodies and wreckage of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 has officially come to an end.

AirAsia QZ 8501 crashed in the Karimata Strait enroute from Indonesia`s Surabaya city to Singapore December 28 last year, killing all 162 people onboard.

The search team has retrieved 103 bodies of passengers and crew with some of the bodies found in waters about 1,000 km away from the crash site.

Speaking on the sidelines to commemorate the 43 anniversary of Indonesia`s National Search and Rescue agency (Basarnas), chief of the agency F. Henry Bambang Soelistyo said the search team has engaged maximum efforts to search for more bodies from the ill-fated flight during the operation.

"We found no more bodies in search areas over the last two weeks," Xinhua news agency quoted Bambang as saying.

Bambang said efforts to lift up and evacuate the mangled wreckage of the Airbus A320-200 jet from the seabed of the Karimata Strait started three days ago.

He said a meeting with the next-of-kin of the plane`s passengers and crew is planned as part of the closure of the operation.

The Basarnas carried out the operation since late last month after the military pulled out from the activities Jan 27.

Besides Indonesia, the operation was joined by several countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, the US, China, Japan and South Korea.