The missing AirAsia passenger plane with 162 people on board is likely at the bottom of the sea, says Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency.
“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,” says the agency’s chief, Bambang Soelistyo.
“That’s the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search.”
There were unconfirmed reports of objects being sighted in the sea by an Australian Orion RAAF plane.
Jakarta’s Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto says he was informed the Orion had detected suspicious objects near Nangka island, southwest of Pangkalan Bun, near central Kalimantan.
The search was halted after 11 hours yesterday and resumed at first light today. The search area is being expanded to the sea between Bangka island and Kalimantan.
Most aboard the AirAsia flight are Indonesians. There are also three South Koreans and one each from Singapore, Malaysia, Britain and France. The Frenchman is the co-pilot.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
The AirAsia plane disappearance comes after two other major aviation disasters this year. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 disappeared in March and was never found. In July, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 was shot down while it was flying over Ukraine.
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