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First AirAsia crash victim laid to rest

A passenger aboard AirAsia Flight 8501 has become the first victim of the crash to be returned to her family, one of many painful reunions to come, as search crews struggled against wind and heavy rain to find more than 150 people still missing.

Hayati Lutfiah Hamid's identity was confirmed by fingerprints and other means, an official said.

Her body, in a dark polished coffin topped with flowers, was handed over to her family at a brief ceremony at a police hospital in Surabaya, the Indonesian city where the plane had taken off. A family member cried as she put both hands on the coffin.

After a cleric said a prayer for the deceased, the coffin was immediately taken to a village and lowered into a muddy grave, following the Muslim tradition of burying bodies quickly.

Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea last Sunday with 162 people aboard. Nine bodies have been recovered.

Singapore's navy has sent in an unmanned underwater vehicle to help pinpoint the wreckage and black boxes - the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

Belfast Telegraph

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