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Sonar scan ‘detects’ fuselage of AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Rescuers lift portion of the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 onto the deck of a ship after it was recovered from the Java Sea.   | Photo Credit: Prasetyo Utomo

Indonesian search teams believe a sonar scan has detected the fuselage of an AirAsia plane that crashed two weeks ago with the loss of all 162 people on board and divers were on Sunday checking the find, a senior official said.

Searchers have also been hearing pings, believed to be from the aircraft's black box flight recorders, near where the tail of the Airbus A320-200 aircraft tail was raised on Saturday.

Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said a sonar scan had revealed an object measuring 10 metres by four metres by 2.5 metres on the sea floor.

"They suspect it is the body of the plane. There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane," Mr. Supriyadi said.

"A team of divers has already been sent to prove this data. The diving operation has started," he said.

Forty-eight bodies have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo and searchers are still hunting for the plane's fuselage, which could contain more bodies.

"If it is the body of the plane then we will first evacuate the victims. Secondly we will search for the black box," Mr. Supriyadi said.

Strong winds, currents and high waves have been hampering efforts to reach other large pieces of suspected wreckage detected by sonar on the sea floor.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control during thundery weather on December 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from the Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:12:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/sonar-scan-detects-fuselage-of-airasia-flight-qz8501/article6777449.ece

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