Indonesian officials have confirmed that bodies and debris found in the Java Sea off Borneo are from AirAsia flight QZ8501 that went missing on Sunday, a statement by AirAsia says.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said he was “devastated” by the news.
President Joko Widodo told media he had instructed all search teams to focus on finding the passengers and crew.
The Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, disappeared on Sunday, the BBC reports.
The head of Indonesia’s search operation, Bambang Soelistyo, said three bodies have been retrieved, not 40 as previously stated by naval officials.
The discovery came on the third day of searching. A navy spokesman said rescuers were “very busy now” with the salvage operation.
The AirAsia statement said the remains were found in the Karimata Strait, south-west of Pangkalan Bun in the Borneo province of Central Kalimantan.
Mr. Fernandes said: “I am absolutely devastated.”
He told a news conference there could now be an end to uncertainty for everyone involved.
“This is a scar with me for the rest of my life,” he said.
“It doesn’t change anything. There is at least some closure as opposed to not knowing what’s happened and holding out hope.”
– The Nation