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Four more bodies have been recovered from the Java Sea as the hunt to find the main wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501 enters a second week.

Indonesia search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said 34 bodies have now been found, as well as five large objects.

Bad weather has forced divers to suspend their bid to find the plane’s fuselage, where most of the bodies are believed to be trapped.

The plane, which was carrying 162 people, crashed on December 28.

It was en route from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

Bad weather is believed to be the biggest factor in the crash although the Airbus A320’s “black boxes”, or flight data recorders, have yet to be located.

Bambang Soelistyo said on January 4 that Singapore navy vessel RSS Persistence had recovered one body, while US navy ship USS Sampson had brought three more back to the Indonesian town of Pangkalan Bun.AirAsia plane crash 2014

Nearly 30 ships are now involved in the search operation, as well as six planes and 14 helicopters.

There were hopes the weather would improve on Sunday, but conditions once again hampered efforts to find the plane’s main wreckage.

Search teams found four large objects thought to be debris from the plane on January 3, with the largest measuring 59ft.

A fifth object was located on the seabed on January 4, Bambang Soelistyo told reporters.

Dozens of divers from Indonesia and Russia have been deployed to the search area, which has been enlarged to allow for tides sweeping bodies and debris further afield.

They attempted to survey more of the seabed on Sunday but “visibility at the sea bottom was zero,” Bambang Soelistyo said.

Remotely operated cameras were being used to try to photograph the objects, but waves up to 16ft high and strong currents made their use difficult.

National Search and Rescue deputy chief Tatang Zainudin said: “We are racing with time and weather in running this mission.”

On January 3, Indonesian weather agency BMKG said initial analysis suggested icy conditions in the air had caused the engine to stall.

Officials have said the plane was travelling at 32,000ft when the pilot’s last communication was a request to climb to 38,000ft to avoid bad weather.

It has emerged that AirAsia did not have official permission to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on the day of the crash, but was licensed on four other days of the week.

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AirAsia Flight QZ8501 bodies arrived back in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, where relatives are waiting.

Next of kin have been asked for DNA samples to help identify the victims.

The Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya to Singapore, disappeared on December 28 and remains were located in the sea on December 30.

The authorities say seven bodies have been retrieved, but bad weather is hampering further salvage efforts.

A public memorial will be held in Surabaya on Wednesday evening local time.

All New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled.

On board the plane were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and one infant, along with two pilots and five crew.AirAsia bodies arrive in Surabaya

It is not yet clear what happened to the plane but its last communication was a request from air traffic control to climb to avoid bad weather. The pilot did not respond when given permission.

A three-day search ended on December 30 when remains including aircraft parts, luggage and the bodies were found in the Karimata Strait, south-west of the town of Pangkalan Bun in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

The bodies were flown to Surabaya’s Juanda airport on Wednesday afternoon from a hospital in Pangkalan Bun, where they had been sent from the crash site.

Another five bodies are reported to be on board a ship on their way to a harbor near Pangkalan Bun.

Four of the seven bodies are male and three female, one of them a flight attendant.

Strong winds and high waves have slowed down the recovery of bodies and debris, with helicopters mostly grounded and divers prevented from searching the waters.

The weather is forecast to deteriorate further, with heavy rains until January 2, 2015.

Next of kin of passengers and crew have been asked for DNA samples to help identify the bodies when they come in.

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