Tail of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Lifted
The tail of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed nearly two weeks ago has been raised by Indonesian search teams. The plane crashed into the Java Sea on December 28 on a flight between Indonesia and Singapore, killing all 162 people on board.
The plane’s tail was found 10 days later and 35 ton lifting balloons were employed to lift it from the seabed in water depths of about 30 meters (100 feet). It could now take up to 15 hours to tow the tail to land where it will be searched for blackbox flight recorders.
Indonesian military divers have reportedly detected faint signals within a radius of 500m of the tail on Friday, but the recorders are yet to be located with certainty. They may remain on the seafloor and be covered with mud.
Strong winds and heavy seas have been hampering recovery efforts.
American, Chinese and other foreign naval ships are assisting in the search for bodies and wreckage. Only 48 bodies have been found so far, according to Indonesian authorities, reports Australia’s ABC News.
It is expected that many of the remaining bodies will be inside the fuselage which has not yet been located, although several large objects have been detected by sonar.
Most people on board were Indonesian.