Tail Section of AirAsia Flight 8501 Found

Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report

The tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 has been found in the Java Sea, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said Wednesday.

“The tail has been found,” Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the rescue agency, known as BASARNAS, told reporters at a news conference, adding that tail numbers were visible on wreckage. Finding the tail is significant because it may contain the plane’s voice and data recorders, or black boxes. Soelistyo said no black boxes have yet been found.

The announcement comes after the USS Fort Worth, a littoral combat ship assisting with the search for the wreckage, spotted objects that could be pieces of debris from the Airbus A320.

The AirAsia jet disappeared on Dec. 28 with 162 people on board as the jet flew from Surabaya to Singapore. The pilot had requested a course change due to bad weather just before contact was lost, officials have said. 40 bodies have been recovered so far.

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