Divers have located a black box of the AirAsia plane that went missing over the Java Sea a fortnight ago. Search ships had earlier detected pings emitted not far from the plane's broken tail section.
The Indonesian Transport Ministry said on Sunday that divers had located a black box from the AirAsia plane that disappeared on December 28 as it flew from Surabaya to Singapore.
"The navy divers in Jadayat state boat have succeeded in finding a very important instrument, the black box of AirAsia QZ8501," said Tonny Budiono, a senior ministry official.
The divers failed to retrieve the recorder, which was said to be wedged beneath the main body of the plane. Searchers were to try to raise the part of the aircraft using lifting bags, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Earlier, three ships equipped with special detectors had received pings from the same location. Two pings were detected - one thought to belong to the cockpit voice detector and the other to the flight data recorder.
Possible main cabin section
Sonar on Sunday also detected a large object in the vicinity of the pings. The country's National Search and Rescue Agency said there was reason to be hopeful that it was the main section of the aircraft cabin. Only 48 bodies - some of which were still strapped into seats - have so far been found in the zone where the plane disappeared, with the expectation being that many more are inside the wreckage.
It had been hoped that the retrieval of the plane's tail section - found a whole four kilometers from the black box site - would include the black boxes.
However, there was disappointment on Saturday when the red metal section - with the words "AirAsia" emblazoned on it - was brought to the surface without either of the recorders.
rc/tj (AFP, dpa)