Australian plane spots objects in AirAsia sea search

2014-12-29 10:40
An Indonesian Air Force official shows a map to journalists of the search area for the missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501. (Juni Kriswanto, AFP)

An Indonesian Air Force official shows a map to journalists of the search area for the missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501. (Juni Kriswanto, AFP)

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Surabaya - An Indonesian official says objects have been spotted in the sea by a search plane hunting for the missing AirAsia jet.

Jakarta's Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto says he was informed on Monday that an Australian Orion aircraft had detected suspicious objects near Nangka island, about 160km south-west of Pangkalan Bun, near central Kalimantan, or 1 120km from the location where the plane lost contact.

"However, we cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane," Putranto says.

"We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions."

However, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla later confirmed on Monday that the objects were not part of the missing AirAsia plane.


"It has been checked and no sufficient evidence was found to confirm what was reported," Kalla told a press conference at Surabaya airport from where the ill-fated plane departed.

Vanished

AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished on Sunday in airspace thick with storm clouds on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

On Monday, a rescue official said that given the route of the plane he believed the most likely scenario was that it crashed.

"Based on the co-ordinates that we know, the evaluation would be that any estimated crash position is in the sea, and that the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea," National Search and Rescue chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo told a news conference.

The plane's disappearance and suspected crash caps an astonishingly tragic year for air travel in South-east Asia.

The Malaysia-based carrier's loss comes on top of the still-unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July over Ukraine.

Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  airasia  |  malaysia  |  australia  |  indonesia  |  airasia qz8501

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