Bad Weather Again Slows Search for AirAsia Jet

Bad weather is again slowing the search for a crashed AirAsia jet in the Java Sea, with one Indonesian official warning it could take at least a week before the plane is located.

Authorities had been hopeful a break in the weather early Thursday would speed up the search. But by the afternoon, another rush of heavy rains and wind grounded helicopters searching for bodies and wreckage.

So far, only seven bodies of the 162 passengers and crew have been pulled from the Java Sea near Borneo island, where the Airbus A320 crashed Sunday during bad weather.

Officials said Thursday at least one of those bodies has been identified, but did not release a name.

Indonesian air safety investigator Toos Sanitiyoso says the main priority is locating the main crash site, but warned it could take at least a week before the black box is found.

Investigators are especially interested in combing an area where aerial searches on Wednesday spotted what appeared to be a large shadow in the relatively shallow section of the sea.

But officials have stressed there is no confirmation the shadow is the main body of the plane, as some have speculated.

Many bodies are expected to be found in the main fuselage of the plane. Another priority is finding the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, which are crucial for determining the cause of the crash.

Before takeoff and during the last moments of the flight, the pilots requested to fly at a higher altitude to avoid a storm cloud. The request was not approved because other planes were in the area.

The twin-engine jet disappeared from radar, without a distress call, about half an hour into what was supposed to be a two-hour flight from Surabaya to Singapore.

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