Part of the tail section of the crashed AirAisia Flight QZ8501 has been found by search teams in the Java Sea.

The tail was found at a secondary search area away from the main wreckage, and investigators believe it was separated due to strong currents.

The tail section houses the “black box” recorders, which record data about the last moments before the crash, including cockpit audio and instrument readings. They should provide investigators with more information on how and why the plane suddenly crashed with 162 people aboard en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore on 28 December.

The tail section of the Airbus A320-200 was discovered 30km from the initial search site in waters 30m deep by Indonesian search teams using divers and unmanned submarines. Photographs of the section appear to show the letter “A” from the AirAsia logo, but the debris is in mud on the sea floor and the surrounding water murky.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said:

“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 bodies of 40 people have been recovered from the crash site so far, and investigators believe that the majority of the rest may be still strapped within the main section of the plane.

Fernandes added:

“We need to find all parts soon so we can find all out guests to ease the pain of our families. That still is our priority”

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