Jakarta, Indonesia: The head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said Wednesday that the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 had been spotted in the Java Sea, a development that could be significant because the plane’s so-called black boxes were contained there.
“The tail section has been found and confirmed,” the official, Bambang Soelistyo, said at a news conference.
He said that the object was identified by sonar early Wednesday and that navy divers and a remote-controlled underwater vehicle had been deployed to confirm the discovery. The team took a photograph of what Soelistyo said was part of the tail, and it was broadcast on national television.
Flight 8501, an Airbus A320-200, crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28 with 162 people aboard, less than an hour after taking off from the Indonesian city of Surabaya bound for Singapore. Bad weather has slowed the process of identifying wreckage and recovering bodies.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, and officials hope that recovering the plane’s voice and flight data recorders, or black boxes, will shed light on what happened.