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2014-12-28 17:44
Relatives Hope For A 'Miracle' After Airasia Plane Vanishes Relatives Hope For A 'Miracle' After Airasia Plane Vanishes Relatives Hope For A 'Miracle' After Airasia Plane Vanishes Relatives and friends on board a missing AirAsia flight say they are hoping for a miracle for their loved ones. Fears grow for missing AirAsia flight carrying 162 people after it 'crashes off coast of Indonesia'... as desperate search and rescue mission is suspended due to bad weather and fading lightA massive search and rescue operation for the missing Air Asia flight which lost contact with air traffic control over Indonesia has been suspended for the night due to unworkable conditions. The fishing boats and official vessels that were sent out by Indonesia's national search and rescue authority, along with helicopters and Hercules aircraft from Singapore, will resume their efforts at sunrise on Monday morning. There is an unconfirmed report of a wreckage spotted east of Belitung Island in the Java Sea, of the east coast of Samutra, 100 miles from where the plane was last tracked. Hadi Mustofa, an Indonesia Transport Ministry official said that the search had been suspended due to bad weather and poor visibility. 'We ended at 1730 (1030 GMT) because it was getting dark. The weather was also not too good as it was getting really cloudy,' he said. 'Tomorrow we will begin at 7 am, or even earlier than that if the weather is good,' he added. The search efforts for the plane’s wreckage are focusing around the area of the Java Sea near Belitung. Boats have been sent from Tanjung Pandan, the largest town on Belitung Island, but are not expected to reach the area until midnight local time, due to inclement weather and sea conditions, reported The Sun Herald. AirAsia flight QZ8501 departed Surabaya, in Indonesia, on Sunday at 5.30am local time, and was scheduled to land at Changi Airport, in Singapore, at 8.30am (Singapore local time). The airline confirmed there were 155 passengers on board - including 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant, and have also stated there were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board. Nationalities of passengers and crew on-board are one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, one British, three South Koreans and 155 Indonesians. However, the British Foreign Office confirmed today that a British national was on board the flight. It is unclear if the person was a dual-citizen. Channel NewsAsia reports that the British passenger was a father travelling with his two-year-old daughter - a Singaporean national. The girl's Singaporean mother is said to have travelled back from Surabaya earlier with an older sibling. A spokesman confirmed the Briton's next of kin had been informed and said: 'Our thoughts are with the passengers' families as they await further news.' According to Indonesia’s Director of Air Transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo, contact with the aircraft was lost between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, a trading port city in west Kalimantan about 100 nautical miles south east of Tanjung Pandan. AirAsia Indonesia has released a statement on Facebook saying that: '[It] regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24hrs this morning'. 'At the present time, we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available,' it said. 'At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service.'Tatang Zaenudin, deputy of personnel at Basarnas, said that the agency was working to approve flights from Australia to aid with the huge operation to locate the plane, reported The Sun Herald. Air Asia has changed the colour of their logo from red to grey as a mark of respect to the missing plane. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
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