The Indonesian rescue team searching for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 has recovered debris from the plane and 40 bodies floating in the Java Sea off the coast of Borneo. The plane carrying 162 people disappeared from radar Sunday flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.
The plane last made contact with air traffic controllers requesting to raise altitude from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet to avoid bad weather; the flight did not issue a distress call before disappearing. According to the New York Times, the wreckage and bodies discovered today are "about 66 miles southeast of the last known position of the plane."
The Indonesian navy confirmed to Reuters that "a plane door, oxygen tanks and one body" recovered from the water had been sent off for further tests.
"You have to be strong," the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, told relatives breaking into tears as television screens broadcast bodies floating in the water. "They are not ours, they belong to God."
Indonesia announced yesterday an expanded search area that spans about 60,000 square miles, though Marsdya Tni Hendry Bambang, head of the search and rescue, cautioned that the plane was "likely at the bottom of the sea."
"I'm still hoping my brother is safe," Ifan Joko, standing outside the Surabaya airport, told the New York Times.
[Image via AP]