Authorities checking reports of missing Air Asia flight crashing in East Pacific Islands
Authorities checking reports of missing Air Asia flight crashing in East Pacific IslandsReuters file photo
Indonesian authorities have said there is no information so far to confirm that the missing Air Asia flight QZ8501 has crashed in the East Pacific Islands but they are monitoring this angle.
“We have not confirmed that the plane crashed at that location [East Pacific Islands]. We are still gathering all the information needed,” director of civil aviation Mujratmodjo Djoko told Kompas.com.
There were unconfirmed reports earlier which suggested the Airbus 320 with 162 people on board crashed in the sea waters of East Belitung, Bangka Beltung. According to CNN, there were were heavy thunderstorms where the plane was flying.
Aviation authorities are coordinating with search and rescue personnel, and also with local fishermen in the waters to confirm whether the flight had crashed at the site.
“We are preparing to sweep , with a combined team of the Navy, Polair and other parties,” Post Commander Navy Manggar told bangkapos.com.
The aircraft is said to have earlier requested an unusual route instead of the regular one before losing contact. The flight lost contact about 42 minutes after takeoff while it was cruising in Indonesian airspace. A surveillance Boeing aircraft has been deployed to assist the ongoing operations.