Her name tag was reportedly found still pinned to her body when she was pulled out of the water, local media reported.
One of the seven bodies found so far has been confirmed as belonging to a flight attendant.
Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi, also known as Nisa, was still wearing her name badge when her body was pulled from the water.Source: Instagram
As rescuers fear AirAsia crash victims could wash up on the shores of Borneo, sonar equipment has detected the plane but it isn’t clear yet if it’s in one piece or broken up.
Indonesian search co-ordinator Air Vice-Marshall Sunarbowo Sandi said police and Armed Forces (TNI) ships had been deployed to wait by the coastline, TheStraits Times reports.
Strong waves had shifted bodies further east and they could be drifting towards the Kalimantan shores of Borneo, he said.
RECOVERY OPERATION CONTINUES
Vice-Marshall Sandi’s warning cames as soldiers acting as pall bearers carried coffins containing the first two bodies from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 into Indonesia’s Surabaya airport, from which the ill-fated plane departed.
Surabaya residents pray for victims of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash.Source: Getty Images
The bodies were taken from an air force plane to a military ambulance to be transported to a hospital for examination and identification.
But many exhausted families remain waiting for news as bad weather continues to hamper search efforts.
Officials had hoped to recover most of the dead but rough conditions made it difficult for helicopters to fly over the area in the Java Sea where victims’ corpses and debris from the Airbus A320-200 were found a day earlier.
Coffins were clearly marked on the warships.
WEATHER HINDERS SEARCH
Storms forced AirAsia search teams to suspend their operations early — just as Indonesian officials revealed sonar equipment had captured footage of the plane resting at the bottom of the Java Sea.
Indonesian women hold candles to pray for the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501.Source: AP
A total of seven bodies have now been recovered, including four males and three females, all completely intact.
National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo confirmed one of the female victims was wearing a flight attendant’s uniform.
Many family members had planned to travel to Pangkalan Bun, 160km from the area where bodies were first spotted, to start identifying their loved ones.
However, the manager of the Surabaya airport, Trikora Hardjo, later said the trip was cancelled after authorities suggested their presence could slow down the operation.
Instead, some relatives gave 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.
● AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control at 6.19am on Sunday — just 40 minutes into the journey from Surabaya to Singapore.
● The last contact the aircraft had with air traffic controllers was at 6.16am when one of the pilots requested permission to elevate the plane from 32,000 ft to 38,000 ft to avoid menacing storm clouds.
● The request was initially denied due to the crowded airspace — at the time there were 11 planes in the vicinity.
● Two or three minutes later, traffic control gave clearance to elevate the plane to 34,000 ft but there was no response.
●No distress signal was activated before the plane went down.
Indonesian military personnel carry a coffin containing the body of a passenger recovered from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 to a hospital in Surabaya.Source: AFP
WHO WAS ON BOARD
● There were 162 people on the plane, including 155 passengers and seven crew members.
● They included 137 adults, 16 children and one infant. The crew comprised of two pilots, four cabin crew and one engineer.
● Among the 155 were 149 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Briton, one Singaporean and one Malaysian.
● Indonesian authorities yesterday said 168 coffins had been prepared, although the official headcount has been put at 162. The disparity between the numbers has yet to be explained.
HOW THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND
Yesterday, Indonesian officials confirmed sonar equipment had located what appeared to be the main body of the plane at the bottom of the Java Sea.
An Indonesian fisherman, Mohammed Taha, 38, first spotted metal objects in the water on Sunday but didn’t realise their significance until he returned home the following day and was told an AirAsia plane had gone missing.
“The largest was four metres long and two metres wide,” Mr Taha told London’s Daily Telegraph.
“They were red coloured with white silver. It looked like the AirAsia colours.”
Mr Taha alerted police who then organised an aerial search which confirmed the objects, including a door, were from the plane.
They were located in relatively shallow waters (45 metres) approximately 16km from the plane’s last known coordinates.
Parts of the interior, including the oxygen tank, were taken to Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan. A bright blue plastic suitcase in perfect condition was also found. Debris resembling an emergency slide, aircraft door and safety equipment have been sighted from the air.
Residents of Surabaya, where a crisis centre has been set up and where the bodies are being taken, pray for the victims and their grieving loved ones.Source: Getty Images
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE DEAD
As search and rescue teams battle bad weather, three-metre waves, decomposition and a current that is sweeping the bodies towards Borneo, all corpses recovered will be taken to Pangkalan Bun before being flown back to Surabaya.
Originally about 125 family members were going to travel to Pangkalan Bun yesterday to identify loved ones but the plan changed overnight.
The identification process will now be carried out by the East Java Police health services team at the Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara Surabaya Hospital.
The police chief, Colonel Dr Budiyono, told The Straits Times that cold storage containers have been prepared to hold 150 bodies.
By yesterday morning, 93 families had already provided DNA samples, Dr Budiyono said.
Indonesia Air Asia chief executive Sunu Widyatmoko said the crisis centre would also soon be moved to the hospital compound at Surabaya so that relatives could be closer to the bodies.
Surabaya residents pray for victims of the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in Surabaya, Indonesia.Source: Getty Images