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In the latest incident to hit an AirAsia flight departing from Surabaya, the engine of a plane failed just before it took off from Juanda International Airport in the Indonesian city, The Straits Times reported, citing local news media.
Thankfully, the Bandung-bound plane made it back to the gate and the 120 passengers on board were then asked to disembark while the plane underwent repairs, Indonesia’s Metro TV reported.
Passenger Yusuf Fitriadi told Metro TV that a man clad in pilots’ uniform told passengers waiting at the terminal that the starter monitor had malfunctioned.
The plane was supposed to have departed at 9pm local time on Saturday. Mr Yusuf said that the airline later told passengers that the flight would be resumed after the issue had been attended to, but about 90 per cent of them refused to reboard the plane, fearing that the fault would reoccur during the flight.
AirAsia then refunded the plane fare of those passengers who had declined to continue with the flight, Metro TV reported.
“Today we have successfully identified nine bodies by matching the DNA samples given by the victims’ families and we have also handed the bodies to the families,” National Police spokesman Insp Gen Ronny F. Sompie said.
Indonesian search teams — assisted by several countries including the United States and Russia — are scouring a patch of sea southwest of Pangkalan Bun, on Kalimantan, for bodies and debris from the Airbus A320-200.
Five major parts of the Indonesia AirAsia plane, which crashed with 162 people onboard, have been found.
Ronny said 21 bodies remain unidentified at the hospital in Pangkalan Bun.
“We are matching the antemortem and postmortem data of nine bodies, while we are still collecting the postmortem data of the other 12 bodies,” he said. To be able to identify the bodies, the DVI team needs to match samples collected from the victims’ families with the postmortem samples from each victim.
“We have collected 161 samples from the families of the victims out of 162 samples we need, and 146 samples from the bodies out of 162 samples,” says Ronny.
Flight QZ8501 crashed enroute from Surabaya to Singapore on Dec. 28. Relief workers are hunting for the “black box” flight data recorders to determine the cause of the crash.