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Bad Weather Hampers AirAsia Search

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More ships were deployed on Friday to locate the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia jet even as the weather, which has hindered the search the last several days, remained a worry.
 
Rear Marshal Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency, said bad weather was a worry, with forecasts of rain, strong winds and high waves up to 4 meters (13 feet) until Sunday.
 
Two ships carrying hydrophones, or underwater listening devices, left the port of Pangkalan Bun on Friday. One ship had experts from France's BEA accident investigation agency, which works on the crashes of all Airbus planes.
 
Nine bodies have been recovered until now, Soelistyo said as the search in waters off Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan entered sixth day.
 
The first funeral took place on Thursday afternoon after one of the bodies was formally identified as a woman named Hayati Lutfiah Hami, and was handed over to her family in Indonesia's second city of Surabaya.
 
After prayers at her home, the coffin was taken for burial at a cemetery nearby, with more than a hundred neighbours in attendance.
 
"I am grateful to God that my sister-in-law was found and I hope the rescuers find the others as soon as possible," Agung Wahyu Darmono, 38, said.
 
Officials said it could take a week to find the black boxes of the ill-fated Airbus 320-200 which went missing on Sunday after after taking off from Surabaya with 162 people on board.
 
Indonesian Transportation Safety Committee member Antonius Toos Sanitioso said, "It may take about a week to retrieve the flight recorder and that is if the sea was calm and there are no disruptions such as noise or other obstacles." 
 
He said an independent investigating team will probe into the tragedy of the flight QZ8501.
 
More than 90 vessels and aircraft from "numerous countries", including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States are involved in the search and rescue operation, said AirAsia.
 
The focus remains on the evacuation of bodies.
 
The multi-national search mission has also recovered a number of items belonging to passengers and the aircraft, such as two black bags, one grey suitcase, an aircraft ladder and metal debris.
 
(Agencies)