PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia – The search and rescue efforts of Indonesian authorities have become a search and recovery with the discovery of debris from AirAsia Flight 8501.
Among the debris: what appears to be an emergency door, and at least ten bodies.
Many of the waiting family members learned the news when Indonesian television ran pictures of the bodies and debris in the waters of the Karimata Strait near Borneo.
The low-cost carrier disappeared from radar Sunday, about halfway through a two-hour flight between Surabaya, Indonesia, and Singapore with 162 people aboard.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes spoke with relatives and reporters shortly after the discovery of the bodies. “There is at least some closure as opposed to not knowing what's happened and holding out hope.”
The plane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders, those so-called black boxes, are still out there somewhere. When recovered, they’ll help put together the puzzle pieces and help answer questions about the weather conditions, and the actions of the pilot and co-pilot.
And then, the bodies will tell the story of whether the plane broke up in mid-air or if the passengers were alive when it crashed into the sea.
Not easy answers, for sure, but at least closure for the families left behind.