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Pings Detected From AirAsia Plane’s Black Boxes, Indonesian Officials Say

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Search and rescue teams have detected pinging from the so-called black boxes of the AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea, Indonesian officials said on Friday, as divers resumed attempts to reach the doomed aircraft’s tail fin in hopes of finding the devices inside or nearby.
Tatang Zainuddin, deputy chief of operations for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said a research ship from Indonesia’s Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology had picked up pinging from the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders on Thursday afternoon.

He said that the Sampson, an American Navy destroyer taking part in the hunt for the devices, had also detected pinging from them.
Mr. Tatang said that the authorities had not yet determined the exact coordinates of the black boxes.
 Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28 with 162 people aboard, less than an hour after taking off from the Indonesian city of Surabaya, bound for Singapore. Search and rescue teams had recovered the bodies of 45 victims as of Thursday night, 25 of which have been identified.

The cause of the crash remains unclear, although weather has been cited as a likely factor.
On Wednesday, the Indonesian authorities announced a key break in the search with the discovery of the tail section of the Airbus A320-200, where the flight data and cockpit voice recorders are housed. Officials have said they hope that recovering the black boxes will help explain what happened to the plane, which disappeared and crashed amid inclement weather.
On Friday, Indonesian search and rescue divers resumed an attempt to bring the aircraft’s tail section up from beneath more than 100 feet of water using special lifting balloons, after being forced to suspend the mission on Thursday because of severe underwater currents, according to officials from the search and rescue agency.
Santoso Sayogo, an investigator with Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said on Friday that it appeared the black boxes were no longer inside the tail section of the aircraft and that search and rescue divers were trying to pinpoint their location, Reuters reported.
Source: The New York Times

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