The Indonesian navy will deploy four more ships on Monday to search in waters 1,700 metres deep for the main body of the 17-year-old aircraft operated by the Indonesian budget airline Adam Air.
First Air Marshal Eddy Suyanto, commander of the Makassar air base, said of the jet fuel trail: "This gives us a clear idea where the bigger pieces of the plane such as the wings are located."
Suyanto, who heads the search mission, had said the depth of the sea in areas where metal objects had been detected in the Makassar Strait was hampering efforts to find the fuselage.
|Parts of the jet have been found, but |
no survivors or bodies [Reuters]
Strong winds and heavy rain also continue to hamper search and rescue efforts.
Since the Boeing 737-400 vanished from radar screens on January 1 in bad weather, no bodies or survivors have been found despite a massive air, land and sea search.
Food trays, life vests and pieces of tyre had been found floating in the sea or washed up on beaches and part of the tail stabiliser was found in a fisherman's net.
Fragments of human hair and scalp that may have come from passengers were found on Sunday.