Family members of passengers onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 react with shock and despair at the crisis centre in Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, today shortly after TV news images show bodies and debris found at the Java Sea. – Reuters, December 30, 2014.
Images of bodies floating in the Java Sea amid debris from what is now confirmed as the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 have shattered the little hope family members had of reuniting with their missing loved ones who were onboard the ill-fated flight.
Indonesian news portal Detik.com said news footage of the bodies being found, which were aired repeatedly on television, were too much for the shocked and grieving family members to bear.
Many just fell apart at the crisis centre set up at the Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, crying hysterically as the footage was aired on the news.
They were seen holding on to their family members and some were heard shouting: "Tidak, tidak!" (No, no!)
"At first, I tried to be strong but the footage of the bodies kept playing and it just made everyone hysterical," said Munif, 50, one of the grieving relatives who nearly fainted.
Detik.com reported that the families waiting at the crisis centre were in disbelief as they watched the news on Indonesian channel TVOne. A number of them fainted.
TVOne later apologised for airing the footage.
"We apologise to the families of the victims," a TVOne news presenter announced on air repeatedly this afternoon.
In its subsequent coverage, footage was shown of a search and rescue team member being winched down from a helicopter towards a pixelated image of a floating body clad only in underwear.
Earlier this afternoon, Indonesian authorities confirmed that the debris found near Pangkalan Bun did in fact come from QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday while flying from Surabaya to Singapore.
The plane carried a crew of seven and 155 passengers who were mostly from Indonesia. Among the passengers were 16 children and one infant.
Of the six bodies found, three have been extracted, another news agency, Berita Satu.com, reported on its website. – December 30, 2014.