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The fuselage of the crashed AirAsia passenger jet has been found in the Java Sea, the Singaporean defense minister said Wednesday. The wreckage of Flight QZ8501 was located by a Singaporean Armed Forces ship, the MV Swift Rescue, according to a Facebook post by the country's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen. The post also included images taken by an unmanned submarine showing what Hen said was the aircraft's fuselage and parts of its wing.
"The accident is a tragic event resulting in the loss of many lives," the defense minister said. "I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief." He added that the Singaporean authorities had informed the Indonesian search authority, BASARNAS, which would now begin an operation to recover the wreckage.
The flight disappeared from radar while en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore on December 28. On Tuesday divers recovered the second of the aircraft's black boxes, but only 48 of the 162 bodies have so far been recovered. Searchers believe many of the victims may be entombed in the main section of the aircraft's cabin.