The second attempt to lift the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia jetliner failed today as the wreckage sank back to the ocean floor when a rope linking the lifting balloons broke. Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir said strong current was the main obstacle. The rope had been fastened and linked to a ship, but broke again as the fuselage was lifted. "We could not fight against nature," Simorangkir said. "We just hope the weather would change and be conducive." The attempt yesterday failed because lifting balloons deflated. Divers reached the fuselage for the first time on Friday. Most of the victims are believed to be inside. Simorangkir said rescuers retrieved one body today that floated as the fuselage was being raised.
A total of 70 bodies have been discovered from Flight 8501, which crashed Dec. 28 with 162 people on board while flying from Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya, to Singapore. Dozens of navy divers have been fighting strong current and poor visibility while trying to lift the fuselage from 100-feet-deep waters in the Java Sea. The cockpit has been located about 500 yards away, and the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot are believed to be there. Bad weather is a suspected factor in the crash. Initial reports show that the plane climbed like a fighter jet, then stalled. The flight disappeared soon afterward. Transportation authorities have ruled out sabotage and say a preliminary accident report is expected to be submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organization this coming week. (Read more AirAsia stories.)