The rescue team has recovered three bodies of passengers aboard the ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 that went missing on December 28, Chief of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency Marshall Bambang Soelistyo said on December 30.

Earlier, it was informed that 40 bodies have been found.

Also on December 30, Indonesian President Joko Widodo convened a press conference to announce the latest result of the search and rescue.

He expressed his deep condolences to the families of the passengers and crew members and thanked international community, especially Singapore , Malaysia , Australia , India , the UK , France, the US and the Republic of Korea for their assistance following the incident.

The President also directed units concerned to step up search and rescue and deal with post-accident issues.

On evening the same day, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also conveyed his profound sympathy to the families of victims.

In an interview granted to Singapore’s New Straits Times the same day, Malaysian Prime Minister Liow Tiong Lai also expressed his condolences to the bereaved, pledging that Malaysia will provide all available equipment to the search and rescue operation led by Indonesia.

The ill-fated plane carried 162 people, including 155 Indonesians, three Koreans, and each one from Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and France.-VNA