Indonesian search team raises tail of crashed AirAsia plane

Updated: 2015-01-10 20:11


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Indonesian search team raises tail of crashed AirAsia plane

The tail of AirAsia QZ8501 passenger plane is seen on the deck of the Indonesian Search and Rescue (BASARNAS) ship Crest Onyx after it was lifted from the sea bed, in the Java Sea January 10, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia - Indonesian search and rescue teams raised on Saturday the tail of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed nearly two weeks ago with the loss of all 162 people on board, and will soon search it for the flight recorders.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control during bad weather on Dec. 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia to Singapore. There were no survivors.

Forty-eight bodies, including at least two strapped to their seats, have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo.

Search and rescue teams detected pings they believed were from the flight recorders on Friday and two teams of divers resumed the hunt soon after dawn on Saturday.

The tail of the Airbus A320-200 was found on Wednesday, upturned on the sea bed about 30 km (20 miles) from the plane's last known location at a depth of about 30 metres (100 feet).

Crews brought it up from the bottom with the help of air bags.

"Yes, the tail is already on the surface," Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters in the town of Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort on Borneo.

"It's currently being brought close to a ship and then it will be towed. And then they want to search for the black box."

The aircraft carries the cockpit voice and flight data recorders - or black boxes - near its tail.

However, officials had said earlier it looked as if the recorders, which will be vital to the investigation into why the airliner crashed, had become separated during the disaster.

"The divers looked for the black box but they didn't find it," Supriyadi said. "But it has to be checked again. Lifted and checked again."

He said it could take up to 15 hours to tow the tail to land.

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