162 dead in AirAsia crash on Jan. 31

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Rescue workers have now recovered the bodies of 100 of the believed 162 victims of an AirAsia crash, USA Today reports.

The flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28, killing all passengers on board. On Jan. 31, after attempting to raise the plane’s fuselage from the crash site, searches resumed, now including more than 60 divers. The divers recovered a total of seven bodies last weekend—four on Friday and three on Saturday—bringing the total number of bodies recovered to 100. Divers were able to recover one of the bodies from the cockpit, either the pilot or the copilot, but the other remained inaccessible. Some of the other recent recoveries were found over 600 miles away from the crash site.

On Sunday, another AirAsia flight was forced to return to Kuala Lumpur shortly after takeoff due to the failure of the auto-thrust system. AirAsia’s chief executive Kamarudin Meranun addressed the problem in an Associated Press interview, saying “There is no emergency. It is not a safety issue. It is just a precautionary measure. Safety is paramount to us.” The passengers on board were transferred to another flight after a five-hour delay.

The Dec. 28 crash was the first fatality involving an AirAsia flight. The group formed in 2001.

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