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AirAsia: Search team finds plane's tail

The tail is the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located.

Members of an Indonesian search and rescue team carry passenger seats from the AirAsia flight 8501 in Pangkalan Bun on 5 January, 2015. Picture: AFP.

JAKARTA - Indonesian search and rescue teams hunting for the wreck of an AirAsia passenger jet have found the tail of the aircraft underwater, agency chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo told reporters on Wednesday.

Flight 8501 crashed 40 minutes after takeoff from the city of Surabaya, en route to Singapore more than a week ago.

"We have found the tail that has been our main target today," said Soelistyo. "The tail part has been found and confirmed at a position in our second priority sector."

The tail is the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located.

The Group Chief Executive officer and founder Tony Fernandes twitted.

I am led to believe the tail section has been found. If right part of tail section then the black box should be there.

The Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-200 plunged into the Java Sea on 28 December en route from Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board. No survivors have been found.

There were 162 people on board and so far 39 bodies have been recovered. Some 20 planes and helicopters along with 27 ships are involved in the intensive international operation.