Indonesian authorities have recovered the tail of the AirAsia QZ8501 aircraft from the bottom of the Java Sea.
Elite Indonesian military divers battled have been battling strong currents to reach the submerged tail of the plane since it was discovered under just 29m of water on January 3.
The end of the plane was retrieved by divers using a giant inflatable balloon which floated the wreckage to the surface of the water.
The plane, which had 162 people on board, disappeared from radar as it was approaching bad weather. The AirAsia crew lost contact with air traffic control at about 6.17 am local time, about halfway through the flightfrom Surabaya in Indonesia. It was bound for Singapore.
Officials had hoped the recovery of the tail would also reveal the location of the crucial black box data recorders, but they yet to be found.
“Pings” have been heard by local authorities believed to be in the Java Sea near where the tail was found.
So far 48 bodies have been retrieved but search teams believe most of the remains may still be inside the fuselage of the plane, which has yet to be found.
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