Three more bodies were found early Wednesday during Indonesia’s search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which lost contact with air traffic control Sunday en route to Singapore. Wreckage from the missing plane was first spotted in the waters off Indonesia on Tuesday, according to Singapore newspaper the Straits Times.
Two of the bodies were male and one was a female dressed in an air stewardess uniform, the chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency BASARNAS told The Straits Times. So far, six bodies -- three men and three women -- have been recovered since Indonesian rescuers began searching for the AirAsia plane carrying 162 people.
The plane has yet to be found and bad weather has stalled search efforts. But investigators continue to scour the Java Sea for more bodies and debris where wreckage was first located, in hopes of determining exactly what went wrong on Dec. 28. Helicopters were temporarily grounded by stormy weather, but nearly 50 divers were deployed into the waters Wednesday to begin searching for the plane. AirAsia's chief executive, Tony Fernandes, told NBC News that BASARNAS was “very confident that it knows more or less the position of the aircraft.”
The international community has offered resources to assist the search. Singapore and Malaysia vessels have been in the area for several days and helped locate debris. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Sampson arrived Tuesday and will now help pinpoint exact locations of plane parts on Wednesday, according to the Straits Times.
A string of aviation disasters have haunted Malaysians this year. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing since March, when it vanished over the South China Sea with 239 people on board. All 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the plane was shot down in July, as it flew over pro-Russian separatists-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. AirAsia Flight QZ8501 belonged to an Indonesian company, but the airline is Malaysian-based. If all aboard the missing AirAsia flight were killed, then the three deadliest plane disasters of 2014 will be linked to Malaysia, according to the New York Times.