More than 40 bodies have been discovered in the waters off Indonesia’s Java coast, 10km far from the location where an AirAsia jet went missing on December 28.

Chief of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency Marshall Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference in Jakarta on December 30 that an air force plane spotted an object on the seabed that is believed to be the missing plane QZ8501.

By 1:30pm (local time) the same day, naval ship Bung Tumo found an object resembling an emergency door.

The search and rescue operation is underway in locations about 160km southwest of Pangkalan Bun, a city on the island of Borneo . The agency deployed 21 frogmen, including 11 naval officers and 10 rescuers, to nearby waters some 25 to 30 metres deep.

Chief of the Indonesian Police Force Gen. Sutarman said the police are collecting DNA samples from victim relatives who are heading to Surabaya , capital of Indonesia 's East Java province, to identify the ill-fated passengers.

Air Asia General Director Tony Fernandes expressed his condolences to the families of passengers and crew over their loss./.