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AirAsia Flight's Tail Spotted In The Java Sea, Official Says

We may be one step closer to finding out what caused AirAsia Flight 8501 to crash last week with more than 162 people on board: Indonesia's search-and-rescue chief says divers may have spotted the tail of the plane in the Java Sea.

An aircraft's black boxes — the flight data and cockpit voice recorders — are located in its tail.

Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the leader of the search-and-rescue mission, said today that divers took photographs of the debris in the Java Sea.

Reporter Michael Sullivan tells our Newscast unit that it's "the first major break they've had in a search effort that's been hampered by rough seas, poor visibility and stormy weather."

Officials will now try to retrieve the black boxes to determine what caused the plane, which was flying from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, to crash on Dec. 28. Forty of the bodies on board have been recovered; divers are looking for the other bodies.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.