Search for missing AirAsia plane enters third day

Singapore: The multinational search for the missing AirAsia flight today entered into third day after a futile day-long scanning of the Java Sea where the Airbus 320-200 is believed to have gone down with 162 passengers and crew.

About 30 ships and 15 aircraft continue searching for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 which went off radar on Sunday morning on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. The search is divided and extended to cover land area on the Indonesian province of Kalimantan.

Aircraft and ships from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and South Korea have been deployed to scan the rough and choppy waters of Java Sea, according to media reports. India, China, Britain, France and the United States have also offered help in the search and locate operation with offer to arrange for planes, naval ships, experts and investigators, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said.

The six-year-old Airbus A320-200 was flying over the Java Sea in Indonesian airspace when communication with air traffic control ceased about 42 minutes after take-off from Juanda Airport. The aircraft was to land at Singapore's Changi Airport at 8.30 am. The pilot had asked for a new route minutes before he went off the radio, air traffic control said.

The plane's last detected position was 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan on Belitung Island. The flight was carrying 155 passengers - one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three South Koreans, 149 Indonesians - and seven crew members - six Indonesians and a French co-pilot. Seventeen of the passengers were children. There were no Indian nationals on board.

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