At least 40 bodies and wreckage including a plane door and oxygen tanks have been recovered in the search for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501.
The bodies – which were not wearing life jackets – have been brought on board a navy ship, said Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Director SB Supriyadi.
Local television broadcast pictures of the bodies floating in the sea.
“The warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now,” said a navy spokesman.
They were found in the Java Sea about six miles (10km) from where the plane last communicated with air traffic control.
Search chief SB Supriyadi also said an air force Hercules had “found an object described as a shadow at the bottom of the sea in the form of a plane”.
Objects spotted earlier have also been confirmed as wreckage from the plane and some have been taken away by helicopter for testing.
“On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”
The Airbus A320-200 disappeared from radar on Sunday morning, on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.
There were 162 people on board, including one British man, Hull-born Chi Man Choi, and his two-year-old daughter.
The aircraft’s last request – to climb higher to avoid a storm – was turned down.
Minutes later it fell off the radar without giving any distress call.
Geoffrey Thomas, editor of AirlineRatings.com, told Sky News: “We have a radar plot which shows the plane actually climbing through 36,300ft – it wasn’t given permission to do that.
“It also shows that its speed had decayed by 134mph and dropped dramatically to a level where it couldn’t sustain flight.”
Some 30 ships and 21 aircraft from South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia have been involved in searching 10,000 nautical miles of ocean.