AirAsia QZ8501: Tail part found

JANUARY 7, 2015

The tail of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been found in the Java Sea, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue said on Wednesday. The tail is where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located which would give investigators clues as to what caused the passenger jet to crash.

"We have found the tail that has been our main target today," Bambang Soelistyo told reporters in the capital, Jakarta.

AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappeared from radar en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore on 28 December with 162 people on board.

No survivors have been found.

Soelistyo said divers and unmanned underwater vehicles spotted the tail, which is the first significant piece wreckage from the crash to be identified.

Forty bodies have so far been recovered but authorities believe most of the passengers could still be inside the main body of the plane.

A huge international operation with aerial searches and more than 30 ships involved has been repeatedly hampered by poor weather.

Some wreckage, including seats and a door, were found floating on the sea.