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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 12:01 GMT
Indonesia jet debris discovered
Two officials hold up the section of the missing plane
The piece of the missing plane was found just 300m from the shore
A section of a missing Indonesian plane has been found by fishermen just off the west coast of Sulawesi island, search officials have said.

The section, a piece of a Boeing 737's tail, had a serial number matching the missing Adam Air plane.

Several other parts and items had been washed ashore, local reports said.

None of plane's 102 passengers or crew have been found since it disappeared on 1 January, half way through its flight from Java to Sulawesi.

"This morning I announced that there has been a finding of a part of Adam Air. What was found was the right tail's stabiliser, number 65C25746-76," the head of the search and rescue mission, Eddy Suyanto, told reporters.


Mr Suyanto said the fragment of the plane was found by a fisherman at 0300 local time on Thursday (2000 GMT Wednesday).

The section was found some 300m (985 ft) from the shore, near Parepare, a seaside town north of Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province, Mr Suyanto said.

Later reports said a life vest and parts of airline seats had also been found.

The news was greeted with relief by relatives desperate for news of their loved ones on the plane.

"I cried when I heard, but now I'm relieved," said Rosmala Dewi, whose daughter was a stewardess on the flight.

"At the very least we now have a sign [of where the plane landed]," she told the Associated Press.

Search continues

Mr Suyanto said it was still unclear if the plane had crashed into the sea or exploded mid-air.

"Therefore the search will continue from the air, in the sea and on land, but the focus would be at sea," he said.

The plane disappeared more than 10 days ago, after battling strong winds and twice changing course during a flight from Surabaya in Central Java to Manado in northern Sulawesi.

A massive air, land and sea operation has been under way ever since, with several other countries offering help with the search.

Bad weather has hampered the hunt, as have false leads. Government officials had to apologise soon after the plane's disappearance for erroneously saying that the wreckage had been found.

Since Monday, the search effort focused off the coast of western Sulawesi, on the advice of another local fisherman, who reported seeing a low-flying, unstable plane in the area.

A US Navy ocean ship equipped with sonar was employed to scan the seabed for clues, off the coast from Mamuju, but that search area is some way north of Parepare.

Officials with the piece of the plane that has been found

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