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SURABAYA, Indonesia — A passenger aboard the crashed AirAsia flight took a photo inside the plane and sent it to a friend just minutes before takeoff. The image shows Hendra Gunawan, a 23-year-old Indonesian, and three friends as they prepared to fly from the city of Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday for a vacation. The image was sent to a friend and later passed along to Gunawan’s father, Yosef Samara. Speaking to NBC News in Surabaya on Thursday, Samara described his son as "a cheerful guy" and "a hard-working ... easy going person."

Looking to what was likely the last photo of his son, he said he had to "face the fact that this airplane has crashed." Rescuers have recovered seven bodies among debris confirmed as coming from Flight QZ8501 in the Java Sea off Borneo. Bad weather has hampered efforts to investigate an object believed to be the wreckage aircraft on the seabed.

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- Katy Tur and Alexander Smith