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Indonesian Search Teams Recover Pieces of Missing Plane


Indonesian search teams are starting to recover pieces of a passenger jet that disappeared on New Year's Day with more than 100 people on board.

The head of search and rescue operations, Eddy Suyanto, says a fisherman found the tail stabilizer in waters about 300 meters off Indonesia's Sulawesi island, near Pare Pare.

He says a partial serial number stamped on the wreckage matches that of the Adam Air Boeing 737.

Airline seats, food trays and other parts of the plane have also been found strewn along the shore on Sulawesi island.

The jet was carrying 102 people when it went down in rough weather during a flight from Surabaya on Java island to Manado on Sulawesi.

Authorities are still unsure where the plane crashed, saying the debris could have drifted great distances.

More than 3,600 soldiers, police and volunteers have been scouring Sulawesi's thick jungle and the surrounding seas for the plane for almost two weeks.

Indonesian ships and a U.S. vessel with ocean survey capabilities are being used to determine whether several large metal objects detected by sonar on the seabed off Sulawesi could be parts of the plane.

Relatives have been anxiously awaiting news of the fate of the passengers, after being incorrectly informed last week that the plane's wreckage and 12 survivors had been found.

Adam Air is one of about 30 budget airlines that have sprung up in Indonesia since the industry was deregulated in 1998.

In 2005, 17 Adam Air pilots quit after complaining of poor safety standards.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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