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Another U.S. Navy Ship Joins Search for AirAsia Flight 8501

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth joins the destroyer USS Sampson as searchers try and find the wreckage of the jet that had 162 on board.

A U.S. Navy ship on Saturday joined another U.S. vessel in Indonesia to assist in the search for the wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501, which is believed to have crashed into the Java Sea last week with 162 people on board, the military said.

The USS Fort Worth, a littoral combat ship with the U.S. 7th Fleet, joined the destroyer the USS Sampson at the request of the Indonesian government, the Navy said.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of those affected by this terrible tragedy," USS Fort Worth Cmdr. Kendall Bridgewater said in a statement. Search crews have spotted four large objects in the Java Sea, the biggest of which is 59 feet long and 18 feet wide, and which is believed to be part of the body of the Airbus A320.

Flight 8501 disappeared during bad weather as it flew from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. Searchers have found 30 bodies, six of whom have been identified, but bad weather had hampered search efforts. The USS Sampson has been in the area helping with the search since Monday, and its crew recovered 12 bodies, the military said. No Americans were aboard the plane, the airline said.



— Phil Helsel