Divers pull out more bodies after AirAsia jet crash, bringing total to 100

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — Indonesian crews pulled out more bodies following last year’s crash of an AirAsia jet, raising the total to 100 so far, authorities said Sunday.

Of the 100 bodies recovered, 72 have been identified, police said. Efforts are underway to identify the remaining victims.

AirAsia Flight 8501 plunged into the sea on December 28 as it flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya toward Singapore. It had 162 people on board.

Divers resumed their attempt to lift up the fuselage of the Airbus jet on Sunday after earlier attempts failed.

Before the plane crashed, the co-pilot was flying the jet as the more experienced pilot monitored the flight.

Things may have gone wrong in a span of three minutes and 20 seconds, triggering a stall warning that sounded until it crashed into the Java Sea, according to Indonesia’s transportation officials.

Though it’s common for the co-pilot to be in control of the aircraft, significant questions remain. Why did the plane start a sudden, steep ascent? Was bad weather a factor?

Plane was in good condition

The plane was in good condition and the entire crew was certified, said Mardjono Siswosuwarno, the chief investigator for the transportation committee.

The flight took off and cruised at 32,000 feet amid stormy weather. The pilot then asked the control tower whether the plane could ascend to 38,000 feet, according to the committee.

Veering left and wobbling

The plane was veering left and wobbling, said Ertata Lanang Galih, a senior pilot and investigator with the committee.

It then ascended from its cruising altitude to 37,400 feet in about 30 seconds in a steep ascent, the chief investigator said.

Commercial planes are not designed to ascend so quickly, and may have been climbing at a rate twice as fast as it should, analysts said.

Officials have said that the aircraft climbed rapidly before it tumbled into the water.

Initial report

Investigators have submitted their preliminary report into the crash, but officials said they would not release it just yet.

It’s unclear whether or when the initial report will be released.

While that report presents facts, officials indicated there isn’t enough verification yet.

CNN’s Faith Karimi wrote and reported from Atlanta, and journalist Masrur Jamaluddin reported from Jakarta, Indonesia

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