Indonesian officials have confirmed that debris spotted floating in the sea by search and rescue parties is wreckage from AirAsia flight QZ8501, which went missing on December 28th. Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, told AFP that planes have spotted a “shadow at the bottom of the sea in the form of a plane.” The Indonesian Navy has also reported retrieving more than 40 bodies from the crash area.
“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, the Indonesian acting director of civil aviation, told the press agency. He added that the wreckage had been found “160 kilometres southwest of Pangkalan Bun,” referring to a town in the Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo. “Based on the observation by search and rescue personnel, significant things have been found such as a passenger door and cargo door,” said Murjatmodjo.
Indonesian local media said that some of the objects resembled suitcases, buoys, and aircraft debris. Officials have also reported finding “victims” near the crash site and there have been multiple reports of bodies being recovered. Twitter users have also reported that Indonesian TV station tvOne has shown images of bodies floating in the water. The Airbus A320-200 was carrying a total of 162 people and is believed to have crashed in poor weather conditions.
Following the announcement by Indonesian officials, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted that he would be “rushing to Surabaya” and offered his condolences to the families of those onboard the flight.
About Air Asia
AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AirAsia group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to 100 destinations spanning 22 countries.