AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Down In Java Sea
An AirAsia Indonesia plane traveling from Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday morning. Flight QZ8501 has 155 passengers and seven crew members on board. The passengers include 149 Indonesians, one Singaporean, one British, one Malaysian and three Koreans.
“AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 hrs this morning,” said an airline statement.
“At the present time, we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board.
“Search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service,” said the airline.
The Airbus A320-200 left Juanda international airport in Surabaya in east Java at 5.20am and was expected to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am (0030 GMT).
Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Transport Ministry, told a news conference that the aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing.
“We are coordinating with rescue team and looking for its position. We believe it is somewhere between Tanjung Pandan, a town on Belitung island, and Kalimantan,” AFP quoted Indonesia’s air transportation director-general Djoko Murjatmodjo as saying.
Air force spokesman Marsma Hadi Tjahjanto confirmed that the air force was using the last point of contact to conduct an air search. He said the air force radar recorded the weather at the time as cloudy, Sydney Morning Herald reported.