Singapore's defense minister, Ng En Hen, today confirmed that a navy ship has now found the main body of AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on December 28 with 162 people on board.
"The MV Swift Rescue, has located the fuselage of the AirAsia plane in the Java Sea," Ng said on his Facebook page. This discovery follows the recovery of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder on Monday and Tuesday, which are hoped will cast light on why the aircraft disappeared from radar on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.
The fuselage is also believed to contain most of the victims of the crash — so far just 48 bodies have been recovered. Ng added that he hoped locating the main body of the plane would help bring "some form of closure" to the grieving families.
He also disclosed photographs taken from an underwater remotely operated vehicle, which show part of the plane's wing and the words "everyone" and "now" on the body of the aircraft. This forms part of the AirAsia motto, "Now Everyone Can Fly," which is printed on the plane's exterior.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes also confirmed on Twitter that the body of the plane has been located. He added: "It is so so sad though seeing our aircraft. I'm gutted and devastated."
The pictures are correct. Fuselage found. Needs some work for divers to go in. Thank you all rescue teams. We hope all our guests are there
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes)January 14, 2015
Operations to recover the wreckage are now being planned by Basarnas, the Indonesian search authority.
Image via Facebook