AirAsia flight QZ8501: Tail of plane found

THE tail of crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been discovered in the Java Sea, an official has said.  

As the part of the plane that contains the 'black boxes' - voice and flight data recorders - it could provide vital clues about the cause of the crash.  

On route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore on 28 December, the aircraft disappeared from radar halfway through a two hour flight with 162 people on board.  

Divers and an unmanned water vehicle spotted the tail of the missing AirAsia plane. Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue, said that it is the first significant piece of wreckage from the crash to be identified.  

40 bodies have been recovered so far, with authorities under the belief that many of the passengers may still be strapped inside the main body of the plane.  

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said on Twitter: "We need to find all parts soon so we can find all our guests to ease the pain of our families. That still is our priority."