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AirAsia flight QZ8501: Shadow of plane seen in Java Sea
Tuesday December 30, 2014 2:54 PM, IANS

Rescuers Tuesday saw a shadow believed to be part of a plane around the waters where an exit door, several objects and six bodies were found in the Java Sea, and have been confirmed as parts of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia's national search and rescue agency, said that he was 95 percent sure that the findings belong to the missing AirAsia plane that lost contact with the air control tower 42 minutes after taking off from Indonesia's Surabaya city for Singapore Sunday morning, Xinhua reported.

The Airbus A320-200 had 162 passengers and crew on board.

Dwi Putranto, an Indoneisan Air Force senior officer, said that objects were found some 190 km from Pangkalan Bun of Central Kalimantan province in Borneo island.

A pilot conducting the search operation said that he had seen bodies and wreckage also in the same area.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said that his heart was filled with sadness for all families involved in Flight QZ8501.

"On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am," he tweeted.

Accroding to an earlier Straits Times report, objects resembling an emergency slide and plane door have been spotted during an aerial search east of where the aircraft was last detected.

"We spotted around 10 big objects and many more small white-coloured objects," an air force official said.

"A search team has been sent to the scene to verify the latest findings," the official added.

Earlier in the day, smoke was also spotted in Long island, one of the thousands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, Xinhua reported.

The latest developments came as Indonesian authorities expanded search operation of the missing plane.

The search has expanded to land areas, with helicopters beginning the search in Kalimantan island as well as other islands in the region.

The number of areas to be scoured has increased to 13 from seven, covering some 60,000 square nautical miles, he said.

The countries offering support in the multinational search besides Indonesia and Singapore comprise US, Australia and Malaysia. South Korea has also offered assistance.


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