According to Indonesian rescue officials, the six bodies were found among the passenger jet’s debris with some still strapped into their seats near the aircraft’s crash site.
“We have found six bodies, four of whom were females and two males, all adults,” said S.B. Supriyadi, a rescue official coordinating the search, putting the number of the victims recovered so far at 59.
The official added that the divers failed once again to reach the plane’s fuselage, where most of the 162 dead bodies are believed to be trapped.
“It was very dark, visibility was very limited so our diving teams could not enter,” said Rear Admiral Widodo, an Indonesian navy commander, predicting, however, that they could “evacuate all the bodies from there.”
The navy official further said the rescue workers were expected to attach giant air bags to the fuselage to lift it to the surface by Friday.
The Airbus A320-200 plane vanished from radar screens on December 28 less than halfway into a two-hour flight to Singapore from Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya. It was later found to have crashed in the Java Sea.
The main body of the jet was spotted on the seabed last week following intense search operations in shallow Indonesian waters. However, strong underwater currents and rough seas have prevented divers from reaching the fuselage.
Earlier this month, both of the plane’s black boxes, including the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), were retrieved from the seabed.