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AirAsia Search: Singapore Ship Finds Aircraft's Fuselage

A Singapore Armed Forces ship has found the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501 that went down in the Java Sea last month, the country's defense minister said today.

Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, on his Facebook page, said images taken by a remote-controlled vehicle showed part of the wing and words on the fuselage. Singapore has informed the Indonesian team that is trying to find the plane, he said.

"I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief," the defense minister said.

All 162 people aboard the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore were killed when Flight 8501 disappeared Dec. 28. Forty-eight bodies have been recovered so far; any more could be found once the fuselage is recovered.

Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency, said the fuselage section that was found is 30 meters long and 10 meters wide. It has a height of 3 meters, he said.

"The fuselage with a wing still attached on it was found in the priority search area and has been confirmed as part of AirAsia plane," he said, according to The Associated Press.

Soelistyo said that the fuselage was found about 2 miles away from the tail that was recovered earlier.

As we have previously reported, the plane's two black boxes have also been recovered, which could allow investigators to piece together what caused the AirAsia plane to go down last month.

You can find our full coverage of this story here.

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

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.