Indonesian MFA coordinates int`l aid for AirAsia rescue op

Indonesian MFA coordinates int`l aid for AirAsia rescue op

Warship of Japan JS Ohnami perform monitoring in the Strait Karimata, Wednesday (Jan. 7). Japan lowered two Warship JS Ohmani and JS Takanami to assist Indonesian rescue team did a search and evacuation of victims of plane crash AirAsia QZ8501. (ANTARA/Dewanto Samodro)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating international aid to the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) and National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) for handling AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash.

"The foreign minister (Retno LP Marsudi) has received direct offer of assistance from several countries. We are coordinating the assistance to Basarnas and KNKT," Tri Tharyat, the consular director of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said here on Wednesday.

He said that foreign countries were helping with two tasks: search and investigation.

Foreign assistance has been offered in the form of human resources such as experts, divers, and equipment such as aircraft, helicopters, and deep-sea detectors.

"We have been accepting every assistance as our priority is to find the planes black box," he added.

Tri pointed out the countries that have been assisting Indonesia and the nature of their assistance.

Singapore has sent five airplanes, five ships, and 10 search and rescue team members.

Malaysia has dispatched one airplane and five ships while Australia has deployed two aircraft.

South Korea has sent one plane, and the United States has delivered two ships and two helicopters.

Two ships and three helicopters have come from Japan while two airplanes have come from Russia, Tri noted.

China has dispatched one ship with several experts and divers on board. Britain has delivered experts and deep-sea detection devices.

In the meantime, France sent four experts, two from France-based KNKT and two from Airbus.

"Other countries that have offered assistance to the foreign minister are India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Canada. They have been kept on standby," Tri added.

Expert assistance to the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team has come from South Korea, Australia, and Singapore.

"The foreign ministry helps the international SAR and experts team by exempting them from visa formalities," he explained.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Arramanatha Nasir said his side has been coordinating with the embassies and foreign ministers of countries whose citizens are also among the AirAsia plane crash victims.

Assisted by teams from several countries, Basarnas has recovered 40 bodies on the eleventh day of search operations.

Chief of Basarnas F.H. Bambang Soelistyo stated here at a press conference on Wednesday that one more has been found on the eleventh day of the search operations, taking the total count of recovered bodies to 40.

According to an ANTARA News reporter in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, the body was found on Wednesday morning in Area II, located at 144 nautical miles (260 kilometers) from Iskandar Airport, Pangkalan Bun.