03:23 GMT16 April 2021
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    AirAsia QZ8501 Deadly Dive (95)
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    The AirAsia passenger plane which went missing on Sunday morning with 162 people on board has probably sunk to the bottom of the sea, Indonesian rescue officials told reporters on Monday.

    MOSCOW, December 29 (Sputnik) — Indonesia's top rescue officials say they believe that the missing passenger plane is likely to be at the bottom of the Java Sea.

    "(Because) the coordinate that was given to us and the evolution from the calculation point of the flight track is at sea, our early conjecture is that the plane is at the bottom of the sea," Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia's national search and rescue agency, told reporters Monday.

    Searchers still don't know the exact location of the plane, he said, and may need help from other countries with an underwater search.

    Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan said the search was focused on an area 70 nautical miles square between the island of Belitung, off Sumatra, and Borneo island., according to Reuters report.

    Navy soldiers work on a map of Indonesia monitoring all Navy ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia involved in the joint search and rescue operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501 at a navy base on Batam island, December 29, 2014
    © REUTERS / Joko Sulistyo/Antara Foto
    Navy soldiers work on a map of Indonesia monitoring all Navy ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia involved in the joint search and rescue operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501 at a navy base on Batam island, December 29, 2014

    He said the sea was only 50 to 100 metres deep in the area, which would be a help in finding the plane. Ships were hunting around the clock but aircraft would suspend their operations at dusk, he added.

    Earlier on Monday, an Indonesian Air Force helicopter spotted two oil slicks in the rescue zone. However, no further information about the oil slicks was available and no-one has connected them to the AirAsia plane crash.

    Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) personnel survey the waters onboard a C-130 Hercules during a Search and Locate operation for the missing AirAsia QZ8501 aircraft over an undisclosed search area December 29, 2014
    © REUTERS / Lianhe Zaobao/Singapore Press Holdings
    The missing AirAsia plane, an Airbus A320-200, was flying to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia, with 155 passengers and seven crew members on board. It lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday morning.

    The missing plane had not transmitted any distress signal before disappearing from the radar.

    The Indonesian transport minister, Ignasius Jonan, said the government would review AirAsia Indonesia and look for safety improvements.

    “We will review AirAsia Indonesia to make sure its performance can be better in the future,” The Guardian quotes him as saying.

    “Much will be reviewed in terms of its business operations and in terms of the air transportation business, so that there are safety improvements,” he added.

    Topic:
    AirAsia QZ8501 Deadly Dive (95)

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    Tags:
    rescue operation, air crash, AirAsia, Java Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia
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