The pictures were taken by a photographer from French news agency Agence France-Press from a search aircraft 105 miles off the coast of Pangkalanbun, Indonesia. According to AFP, the items resemble a plane door and an emergency slide. The debris was spotted by a search aircraft flying at an altitude of 500 feet off Pangkalanbun. A helicopter is now being sent in to take a closer look, according to reports.
Metro TV quoted Indonesian air force officer Dwi Putranto as saying: “10 bigger items and countless smaller items.
“These look like items that are not usually seen on sea surface.”
A tweet from French news agency Agence-France Press’s official account read: “#BREAKING Items resembling emergency slide, plane door seen in search for AirAsia flight #QZ8501: Indonesia.”
The development came during the third day of the search for the vanished jetliner. Ships and aircraft from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia are scouring the Java Sea for any trace of the AirAsia plane, which disappeared on Saturday with 162 people on board.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief, Bambang Soelistyo, said: “Based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea.
“That’s the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search.”
The vice-president of Indonesia also said there was a “huge possibility” that missing Flight QZ8501 had been in an accident .
Jusuf Kalla added: “The government is concerned and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of victims.”