What we know so far:
- AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished Sunday en route to Singapore from Indonesia.
- The plane lost contact at 7:24 a.m. after requesting to change course due to poor weather.
- Seven crew members and 155 passengers were on board, including 17 children and one infant.
- Search operations, which are being led by Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, have resumed this morning just after 6:30 a.m. Indonesia local time.
As daylight breaks on Monday morning in the Indonesia region, the search resumes for missing AirAsia flight 8501. It has been more than 24 hours since the Airbus A320-200 vanished with 162 people on board en route from Indonesia to Singapore.
Indonesia AirAsia #QZ8501 has gone missing. Flightradar24 picked up last signal 23:12 UTC
Weather is thought to be a contributing factor in the disappearance of flight QZ8501, which lost contact with Jakarta’s air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. local time on Sunday after taking off from Surabaya, Indonesia. It was due to land in Singapore two hours later.
The plane was carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members including 137 adults, 17 children and one infant, according to an AirAsia Facebook statement. There were 149 Indonesian passengers on board and three passengers from South Korea (traveling from Singapore, United Kingdom and Malaysia, respectively).
There were six crew members from Indonesia and one member from France. There were also 23 no-shows for the flight, according to the manifest.
Sunu Widyatmoko, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. We are cooperating with the relevant authorities to the fullest extent to determine the cause of this incident. In the meantime, our main priority is keeping the families of our passengers and colleagues informed on the latest developments.”
First Admiral Sigit Setiayana, the Naval Aviation Center Commander at the Surabaya air force base, said Monday that 12 navy ships, five planes, three helicopters and a number of warships were searching an area of east and southeast Belitung island and nearby waters.
Setiaya says visibility was good. “God willing, we can find it soon,” Setiayana told The Associated Press.
Malaysia, Singapore and Australia have all sent assistance to the region. Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai said the Malaysian government deployed three ships and one plane to the Belitung island region. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said in a statement that military planes and vessels would join the search, while the Australian Defence Force announced that it would deploy an AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft to the region.
The search will be focused near the island of Belitung off the east coast of Sumatra, at the coordinates 03 degrees 22’15″ South and 109 degrees 41’28″ East, where the plane is thought to have disappeared, according to a statement by Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).