JAKARTA, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Pinging sounds believed to be from the flight recorders of the AirAsia plane which crashed into the Java Sea Dec. 28 have been detected, officials said Friday.
Tatang Zainuddin of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency said a research ship noted the sounds Thursday, as did the U.S.S. Sampson, a U.S. Navy destroyer participating in the search operations. The recorders, known as black boxes, were located in the tail section of the plane, which was spotted 300 meters (984 feet) away. Attempts to raise the tail section Thursday were hampered by strong sea currents.
"We are chasing the sound and are sending divers in the direction of the ping," said Indonesian Army commander Gen. T.N.I. Moldoko.
AirAsia Flight 8501, an Airbus A320-200, fell into the Java Sea, one hour into a flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. Forty-seven of the 162 people aboard have been found, and 25 have been identified. It is hoped the majority of the victims will be found in the plane's fuselage.
AirAsia said it would pay 1.25 billion Indonesian rupiah ($123,000) to families as compensation for each victim, a statutory figure under Indonesian law. The airline also had several of its regular routes, including Surabaya to Singapore, suspended.