In an aviation news moment which can only be referred to as sickening, chilling and utterly bizarre, another large commercial jetliner flying over Indonesia in Asia has been reported missing, with some 162 persons on board. The plane was en route to Singapore and is registered as being Malaysian. The Reuters online news report states the number of passengers on board the missing plane as 155, so there are apparent discrepancies in various breaking news reports.
AirAsia Airbus Flight 8501 lost contact with air traffic approximately 5 hours ago at about 7:24 a.m. On the Air Asia website there is no mention of the missing jetliner as of 9:30 pm pacific time:
This story is still breaking and I will update it frequently as I learn more.
Re-posted from ABC News Online:
An AirAsia Airbus A320-200 has gone missing on a flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, according to the National Agency Search and Rescue Republic of Indonesia.
The plane, flight QZ8501, which reportedly had 162 people on board, lost contact at 7:24 a.m. local time near Belitung Island, Indonesia, according to a statement from AirAsia. It was scheduled to land in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. local time.
“At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available,” AirAsia said.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
Search and rescue operations were in progress, AirAsia said.
The plane lost communication with Indonesia’s Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff, when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia’s MetroTV.
Mustofa said the plane had seven crew and 155 passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said it was informed about the missing plane by Jakarta ground control about half an hour after contact was lost.
“Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities,” it said.
The Singapore air force and the navy also were activated with two C-130 ready to assist Indonesia authorities in the search, according to the aviation authority.
“We remain ready to provide any assistance to support the search and rescue effort, the CAAS said.
A waiting area was set up at Changi Airport in Singapore, where the plane had been scheduled to land, with facilities and support for relatives and friends of the passengers on the plane.
Developing story. More to come …
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