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AirAsia plane crash: First pictures of wreckage

The first images of the wreckage from AirAsia flight 8501, discovered in the Java Sea, have been released by the Indonesian government.

Divers and an unmanned underwater vehicle located the missing plane's tail section on Wednesday, the first confirmed sighting of any major wreckage from the flight 11 days after it disappeared with 162 people on board. The bodies of 40 people who died in the crash have been found since then.

AP Photo/BASARNAS

The pictures appear to show the letter "A" painted on the wreck, and what looks like part of the AirAsia logo.

The flight between Surabaya, in Indonesia, and Singapore, disappeared on December 28 in poor weather conditions.

AP/BASARNAS

Finding the wreckage has raised hopes that the flight's "black box" - a recording of what was going on during the flight - may be located before it stops emitting signals, 20 days after the crash. The "black box" is central to help authorities work out what went wrong with what seemed like a routine flight.