Yahoo! News, citing Reuters, is reporting that an Indonesian search crew looking for the crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has found the crashed aircraft’s fuselage. The fuselage was detected after the team scoured the area using sonar detection equipment. According to Supriyadi, an operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency of Indonesia, a sonar scan of a specific area of the sea floor has revealed an object that measures 10 meters by four meters by 2.5 meters, which he thinks is most certainly a major part of the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501.
The doomed AirAsia flight crashed into the Java Sea on December 28, after it allegedly ran into bad weather. All 162 people on board the aircraft have been declared dead. Search and rescue crew have managed to recover only 48 bodies so far. This was partly because a major part of the plane was yet to be found.
Investigators also hope to find the flight data recorder (black box) of the plane from the area. Earlier, there were reports of “pings” from the black box of the aircraft. It is unclear if the pings were located from the same region where the fuselage of the plane reportedly lies. In an effort to recover the recorders, a large tail section of the aircraft was raised outside the water on Saturday. Meanwhile, Supriyadi told Reuters that the black box could be near the body of the plane — and not the tail section as previously thought.
“They suspect it is the body of the plane. There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane. A team of divers has already been sent to prove this data. The diving operation has started.”
Apart from finding key evidence that would let investigators know what caused the plane to crash, the recovery of the fuselage could also lead to the finding of more bodies. Experts believe that several people might have been still strapped on to their seats when the plane crashed.
“If it is the body of the plane then we will first evacuate the victims. Secondly we will search for the black box,” Supriyadi said.
That said, the search and rescue operation in the area where the plane crash has been a difficult job so far, owing to the nasty weather conditions there. If investigators are able to find the flight data recorders of AirAsia fight QZ8501, it would take them at least two weeks to download and interpret the data from them.
The AirAsia Flight QZ8501 disaster is the latest air-related incident to have hit South East Asia. 2014 had been a particularly bad year for several airlines from the region, with incidents like the MH370 crash and the MH17 incident over the skies of Ukraine.
[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]