PANGKALAN BUN — Indonesian search teams believe a sonar scan has detected the fuselage of an AirAsia airliner that crashed two weeks ago with the loss of all 162 people on board and divers were on Sunday checking the find, a senior official said.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control during thundery weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
Searchers have also been hearing pings, believed to be from the aircraft's black box flight recorders, near where the tail of the Airbus A320-200 aircraft tail was raised on Saturday. Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said a sonar scan had revealed an object measuring 10 meters by four meters by 2.5 meters on the sea floor.
"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," Supriyadi told Reuters in the town of Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort on Borneo.
Forty-eight bodies have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo and searchers are still hunting for the plane's fuselage, which could contain more bodies. "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.
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