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AirAsia QZ8501: One Body Was Wearing Life Jacket

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JAKARTA – A body recovered from the crashed Indonesian AirAsia plane on Wednesday was wearing a life jacket, an official with Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said, raising questions about how the disaster unfolded.

“This morning, we recovered a total of four bodies and one of them was wearing a life jacket,” said Mr Tatang Zaenudin Wednesday, an official with the search and rescue agency.

He declined to speculate on what the find might mean.

The fact that one person put on a life jacket would appear to indicate those on board had at least some time before the aircraft hit the water, or after it hit the water and before it sank.

And yet the pilots did not issue a distress signal. The plane disappeared after it failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather because of heavy air traffic.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr F. H. Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the Basarnas search and rescue agency, said that one female body recovered on Wednesday was dressed in the uniform of an air stewardess.

The other three bodies retrieved on Wednesday were male, officials said.

Together with the two female and one male body recoved on Tuesday, it brings the total number of bodies recovered so far to seven – three female and four male.

Some of the bodies were fully clothed, which could indicate the Airbus A320-200 was intact when it hit the water. That would support a theory that it suffered an aerodynamic stall.

Rescuers believe they have found the plane on the ocean floor off Borneo, after sonar detected a large, dark object beneath waters near where debris and bodies were found on the surface.

Ships and planes had been scouring the Java Sea for Flight QZ8501 since Sunday, when it lost contact during bad weather about 40 minutes into its flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. – Reuters

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