Family members prepare to identify bodies of crash victims

Commander of 1st Indonesian Air Force Operational Command Rear Marshall Dwi Putranto, right, shows airplane parts and a suitcase found floating on the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, during a press conference at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. Bodies and debris seen floating in Indonesian waters Tuesday, painfully ended the mystery of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea and was lost to searchers for more than two days. The writings on the suitcase reads "Recovered by KRI Bung Tomo." KRI Bung Tomo is the name of an Indonesian Navy ship. The numbers on the suitcase are the coordinates. (AP Photo/Dewi Nurcahyani)

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia (AP) — A woman who lost seven relatives aboard AirAsia Flight 8501 says she accepts that the plane has crashed — but that she can’t believe her brother and his family are dead. She says she’s still praying they survived.

Wreckage found near the Indonesian island of Borneo today has been identified as coming from the AirAsia flight that disappeared Sunday in rough weather with 162 people aboard. The bodies of some victims have been brought aboard a navy ship. Indonesian TV today has been showing images from the recovery effort, including floating debris and a body in the water.

About 125 family members are planning to travel to a town near the shore tomorrow to start identifying their loved ones. Body bags and coffins have been prepared at hospitals there. Meanwhile, dozens of elite military divers will join the massive search. They are desperate to scour the water ahead of approaching rough weather.

Nearly all of the passengers and crew were Indonesians, who are frequent visitors to Singapore, particularly on holidays.

One man said his youngest child and only daughter was a stewardess on the flight. On learning of the crash, he struggled to console his grieving wife. They last saw their daughter six weeks ago when she returned home on holiday. He says the family knew the risks of the job, but that it was always his daughter’s dream to fly.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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