While the plane has yet to be found, and the possibility of finding survivors is slim, the Indonesian navy said some 40 bodies had been recovered as dusk fell.
Six bloated bodies and debris seen floating in Indonesian waters Tuesday painfully ended the mystery of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people aboard and was lost to searchers for more than two days.
The bodies were found about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from land and 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the plane’s last known coordinates. The plane vanished Sunday on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore after encountering storm clouds.
The six bodies were recovered, swollen but intact, and taken to an Indonesian navy ship, First Adm. Sigit Setiayanta, the Naval Aviation Center commander at the Surabaya air force base, told reporters. The corpses did not have life jackets on.