Update as of 7:10 a.m. EST: Rescue workers from a multinational search team looking for remains of AirAsia Flight 8501 did not make much progress during search operations on Tuesday, SB Supriyadi, an Indonesian search and rescue official, reportedly said.
“Some of them (divers) tried to dive but the bad weather hampered the operation … divers haven't managed to get close to the large parts of the plane so far,” he said, according to media reports. “They haven't found anything, maybe because the water is turbid and there is zero visibility,” Supriyadi reportedly said, adding that there was a possibility that the plane’s black boxes were “buried in mud,” which could be blocking their signals, and delaying their discovery.
Update as of 4:00 a.m. EST: Two more bodies of people on board AirAsia Flight 8501 were recovered by search teams in the Java Sea on Tuesday as divers took advantage of a break in bad weather and descended to the sea bed, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia. This brings the total number of bodies recovered to 39, of which 16 have so far been identified.
Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) reportedly said on Tuesday that search teams are “adding to and expanding the priority search area.” Earlier in the day, the search area had been moved slightly eastward after strong currents dragged the plane’s wreckage.
Meanwhile, a Russian team reportedly detected objects that could be debris from the crashed plane, according to a report by The Jakarta Post.
“(The Russian team) did not tell us any details about the debris, but they said that the objects are pretty big and they are red, orange, and white in color. They also found a black square,” an official of the Indonesian army told the newspaper.
Bad weather and stormy seas continued to hinder the search for AirAsia Flight 8501 on Tuesday as rescue workers scrambled to recover parts of the plane and the 125 bodies still missing, according to media reports. The plane, which crashed in the Java Sea on Dec. 28, was carrying 162 people on board and, so far, only 37 bodies have been recovered.
“Time is of the essence ... but it seems like it is hard to beat the weather,” Suryadi Supriyadi, the director of operations for the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), reportedly said, adding that strong currents on Tuesday had forced rescue workers to move the search operation slightly eastward.
Search operations in the region slowed down drastically on Tuesday because of fog in the region, which reduced visibility to 3 nautical miles (3.5 miles), Malaysia's Chief of Naval Staff Abdul Aziz Jaafar, said.
— Abdul Aziz Jaafar (@ChiefofNavy) January 6, 2015
Although an Indonesian official had, on Monday, claimed to have located the tail section of the plane, which contains the black boxes, no signals have so far been detected, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, AirAsia on Monday offered 300 million rupiahs ($24,000) for each victim as compensation to the relatives of those on board, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The airline reportedly said that the money was part of the overall compensation that would eventually be provided to the bereaved families.