Debris from AirAsia plane found

Debris spotted Tuesday during an aerial search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 is from the missing plane, Indonesia’s director general of civil aviation told AFP.

“For the time being it can be confirmed that it’s the AirAsia plane and the transport minister will depart soon to Pangkalan Bun,” Djoko Murjatmodjo said.

“Based on the observation by search and rescue personnel, significant things have been found such as a passenger door and cargo door. It’s in the sea, 100 miles (160 kilometres) southwest of Pangkalan Bun,” he said, referring to the town in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.

Indonesian aerial searchers earlier Tuesday spotted items resembling an emergency slide and plane door in the sea as they hunted for traces of the AirAsia plane.

The Airbus A320-200 lost contact en route from Surabaya in Indonesia’s east Java to Singapore on Sunday after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather, in the third crisis for a Malaysian carrier this year.

“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,” National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told journalists.

“That’s the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search,” he said. 

Currently search teams are scouring an area where the sea is 40 to 50 metres deep, he said, adding that Indonesia was co-ordinating with other countries to access any equipment needed to scour the seabed. – AFP

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