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PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia (AP) — Officials say bodies and plane debris being pulled from the Java Sea are from AirAsia Flight 8501, which vanished Sunday in rough weather while on a two-hour flight from Indonesia to Singapore.
Local TV has been showing rescue workers being lowered on ropes from a hovering helicopter to retrieve bodies. They're working against rough waves and strong winds. Several bodies already have been picked up by a navy ship.
Searchers found what appeared to be a life jacket and an emergency exit door. Part of the plane's interior, including an oxygen tank, was brought to the nearest town, along with a bright blue plastic suitcase. Searchers believe they've spotted more wreckage in the relatively shallow water, no more than 100 feet deep, near Indonesia's Borneo Island.
Relatives of those on board screamed and wailed as they saw TV images of the recovery effort, including the body of a man floating in the water.
There were 162 passengers and crew on the plane.
092-a-13-(Philip Butterworth-Hayes, independent consultant on air safety issues, in AP interview)-"chain of events"-Air safety expert Philip Butterworth-Hayes says it's highly unlikely that bad weather alone downed the AirAsia jet. (30 Dec 2014)
<<CUT *092 (12/30/14)££ 00:13 "chain of events"
088-r-15-(Sound of relatives of air passengers on AirAsia Flight 8501 screaming and wailing, following Indonesian television broadcast)--Sound of inconsolable relatives following the broadcast of pictures showing bodies in the ocean. (30 Dec 2014)
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APPHOTO JAK120: An Indonesian Air Force personnel show a suitcase and airplane parts, on the table, recovered from the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, during a press conference at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. Bodies and debris seen floating in Indonesian waters Tuesday, painfully ended the mystery of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea and was lost to searchers for more than two days. (AP Photo/Dewi Nurcahyani) (30 Dec 2014)
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APPHOTO JAK121: Relatives of passengers of the missing AirAsia Flight 8501 react upon seeing the news on television about the findings of bodies on the waters near the site where the jetliner disappeared, at the crisis center at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. Bodies and debris seen floating in Indonesian waters Tuesday, painfully ended the mystery of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea and was lost to searchers for more than two days. (AP Photo/Trisnadi) (30 Dec 2014)
<<APPHOTO JAK121 (12/30/14)££
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