Part of a plane’s tail, food trays and shards of fuselage were pulled from the sea in north-eastern Indonesia, officials said today, 10 days after a Boeing 737 disappeared in storm weather with 102 people on board.
No survivors or bodies were recovered, but the news brought some comfort to waiting family members.
“I cried when I heard, but I am now relieved,” said Rosmala Dewi, whose 19-year-old daughter was a stewardess on the domestic carrier that disappeared from radar over Sulawesi Island’s western coast.
With no emergency locator beacon to guide rescuers, nearly 3,000 soldiers, police and civilians battled thousands of square miles of dense jungle terrain, while sonar-equipped ships and planes spent days scouring the choppy waters.
After several false sightings – including one that prompted high-ranking Indonesian officials to wrongly claim the wreckage had been found with a dozen survivors – a fisherman pulled a sheared piece of the tail from the Makassar Strait.
Eddy Suyanto, the head of search and rescue operations, said Thursday the serial number on the yard-long tail stabiliser – found 300 yards from shore - confirmed it was part of Adam Air Flight KI-574.