January 7, 2015
AirAsia Flight QZ8501: First Images Of Undersea Wreckage Emerge

The first photographs of the wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501 have emerged, and the eerie images depict the remains of the jet's tail laying at the bottom of the Java Sea.

The images reveal what may be the most crucial part of the wreckage of flight QZ8501, since the flight recorders are likely contained within, as the Daily Mail reports. Divers and an unmanned underwater vehicle were able to approach the wreckage 11 days after the AirAsia flight disappeared while midway between Surabaya, Indonesia, and Singapore, killing all aboard.

One of the photos depicts what is likely the inside of the aircraft's fuselage, while another reveals the stylized logo of AirAsia on the jet's tailfin, according to the Guardian. National Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo told reporters that an Indonesian survey ship first detected the wreckage.
"Today we successfully discovered the part of the plane that became the main aim since yesterday... I can ensure that this is part of the tail with the AirAsia mark on it."
Though 40 bodies have been recovered from the sea so far, more than 120 remain unaccounted for. Officials hope the missing passengers will be found in the AirAsia plane's fuselage, but strong currents and murky water have hindered the efforts of divers to verify other pieces of wreckage from flight QZ8501. Search efforts have also been stymied by poor weather conditions, as the Inquisitr has previously reported.

Ships using sonar were able to detect five large objects in the search area, some 90 nautical miles from Borneo, on Sunday. Believed to be wreckage from the AirAsia flight, they have not been visually confirmed by divers. Soelistyo noted that the tail section of the aircraft was found in a different area than the one previously referenced in media reports.

"It wasn't found in the area that was mentioned in the media the other day."
Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia group, acknowledged on Twitter that the tail section of flight QZ8501 had been found, noting that the black boxes should be contained within. Earlier this week, seven officials were suspended in the wake of the accident, amid reports that AirAsia flight QZ8501 did not have clearance to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on the day it crashed.

[Image: BASARNAS/AFP/Getty Images via the Guardian]