Tail of crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501 found

Indonesian search and rescue teams >hunting for the wreck of the AirAsia passenger jet have located the tail of the aircraft underwater.

"We have found the tail that has been our main target today," agency chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo said. "The tail part has been found and confirmed at a position in our second priority sector."

At least two divers plunged into the choppy waters early on Wednesday during a break in the bad weather to search for two large objects suspected of being chunks of the fuselage of the AirAsia plane.

The tail is the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located.

> Read: What’s still not known about AirAsia jet and why it crashed

A U.S. Navy ship, the USS Fort Worth, detected the latest two objects on Tuesday at a depth of 92 feet near the Karimata Strait off Indonesia.

“We will start to identify the wreckage, which appears to be part of the jet’s body, as quickly as possible,” Indonesian search and rescue operation coordinator Tatang Zainudin said, adding that teams equipped with a remote-operated vehicle will also try to capture images of the objects.

So far, seven objects suspected to be parts of the plane have been detected by sonar on the ocean floor, but strong currents, silt and mud have kept divers from seeing or reaching them.

Mr. Zainudin said the bad weather that has held up the search was “frustrating.”

Two more bodies were retrieved on Tuesday, bringing the total to 39. But there are concerns that it will become harder to find the remaining corpses from Flight 8501, which crashed on December 28 with 162 passengers and crew aboard.

The AirAsia Flight QZ8501 plunged into the Java Sea on December 28 en route from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board. No survivors have been found.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:33:51 AM |

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