Basarnas chief holds meeting with families of AirAsia victims

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - The chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) held a closed-door meeting with relatives of the victims of the AirAsia QZ8501 crash at the East Java Police Headquarters here on Tuesday.

Earlier, Basarnas Chief Vice Marshal FHB Soelistyo told the press that he would discuss the plan to stop the search and rescue efforts, which they had been carrying out since December 28, 2014, with relatives of the victims.

"We will hold a meeting to come to an agreement. Its impossible to find all the victims, as we know from our experience so far," he said in Jakarta on Monday.

He had affirmed that he would also ensure that the relatives visit the site where the ill-fated airplane crashed so they can offer their prayers for the victims.

Of the total 162 victims, 103 bodies have been recovered so far, while 59 are still missing.

The AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control over the Java Sea on December 28 morning en route to Singapore, shortly after taking off from Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, East Java province.

The ill-fated plane had 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, a Malaysian, a Singaporean, a Briton, and a French national on board.

The aircraft is believed to have crashed in the Java Sea near Karimata Strait, some 95 nautical miles from Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.

Since the day of its disappearance, Indonesia launched a massive search and rescue operation, which was joined in by several foreign countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, the U. S., Japan, China, South Korea, India, and Russia.

In January, the Transportation Ministrys National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) released 18 points of factual information in its preliminary report based on the black box recordings of AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Head of the KNKTs AirAsia QZ8501 Investigation Team Mardjono Siswosuwarno stated, among other things, that the second-in-command pilot, or co-pilot, had been flying the aircraft when the accident occurred.