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AirAsia pilot's family speaks to CNN as they fear the worst

Surabaya, Indonesia (CNN) - It was a stark and painful reminder. The sound of fireworks echoing through the streets of Surabaya as the clock dragged toward midnight underlining the fact that so many of the victims of QZ8501 were on their way to Singapore to celebrate the new year there.

They never made it. And for the past four days, the CNN crew has witnessed the shock, disbelief, frustration, and finally the devastating realization from the families of those missing.

Since Sunday evening, we have been staffing our live camera position 24 hours a day just a few paces from the crisis center at Surabaya International Airport.

We have spoken to family members and friends, trying to negotiate the fine line between prying and reporting, trying to show the human side of a disaster without gross intrusion into private grief.

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