QZ8501: Strong Wind, High Surf Hamper Search

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 – Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 victims’ identification process is expected to rely on the information before death or the ante-mortem data. A spokesman of Ministry of Health Indonesia said the ante-mortem data matching had to be taken as the victims’ bodies were found in a condition which was difficult for visual identification.

“The disaster victim identification (DVI) team has been collecting the victims’ condition data since last few days. “Data gathered including fingerprints, dental records and tissue samples for DNA,” the spokesman said. The massive hunt for the 162 victims resumed in the Java Sea today, with six bodies – three male and three female — including a flight attendant, recovered. The flight attendant was identified through her red uniform.

However, strong wind and high surf hampered recovery efforts as distraught family members anxiously waited to identify their loved ones. Flight QZ8501, an airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control early Sunday en route from Surabaya to Singapore. On board were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one each from Singapore, Malaysia, France and United Kingdom.

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