Objects Spotted In Search For AirAsia Jet Are Not From The Missing Plane

AirAsia search
Military and rescue authorities monitor progress in the search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in the Mission Control Center inside the National Search and Rescue Agency in Jakarta December 29, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Australian search and rescue planes have spotted objects in the sea within the search area for the missing AirAsia plane, an Indonesian official has said.

An Indonesian helicopter reported two oil slicks within the search area but officials later said it likely wasn’t tied to the missing plane.

It’s not yet clear what the objects seen in the water are. Officials have not said whether it’s wreckage from the missing plane.

The objects were spotted about 700 miles from AirAsia flight QZ8501’s last known position.

The search for the missing plane is in its second day. The plane went missing during a flight from Indonesia to Singapore shortly after asking to deviate from its planned flight path because of bad weather.

The flight crew lost contact with air traffic control at about 6:17 a.m. on Sunday, about halfway through the flight. The plane was initially thought to have crashed near the Indonesian island of Belitung, which is near the plane’s last known location.

The “suspicious objects” search teams have spotted in the water are near Nangka island, according to the Associated Press, but the exact location of the supposed debris has still not been confirmed.

The missing plane is an Airbus A320-200, a popular and generally reliable model. The plane is about six years old and is operated by AirAsia’s Indonesian affiliate, which the Malaysia-based company holds a 48.9% stake in, CNN reports

155 Indonesians are on board the missing plane, along with three people from South Korea, and one from Singapare, Britain, Malaysia, and France. Of those passengers, 16 are children and one is an infant.

The AirAsia plane disappearance comes after two other major aviation disasters this year. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared in March and was never found. In July, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down while it was flying over Ukraine.

Crews have been searching for the AirAsia plane in the vicinity of its planned flight path:

AirAsia plane map