AirAsia Flight With 162 on Board Goes Missing

The search is on for an AirAsia passenger jet flight QZ 8501 carrying 162 people that lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control early Sunday, gripping Southeast Asia with a second missing plane crisis in less than a year.

aa

The aircraft went missing as it flew over the Java Sea between the islands of Belitung and Borneo.

Search and rescue operations are now underway.

Of the people on board the Airbus A320-200, 155 are Indonesian, three are South Korean, one is British, one is French, one is Malaysian and one is Singaporean, the airline said.

Seventeen children, including one infant, are among the passengers, the carrier said. Seven of the people on board are crew members.

At the airport in Surabaya, loved ones gathered and wept as they waited for any word on the passengers.

Some took cell phone pictures of a flight manifest posted on a wall. The black-and-white papers showed every passenger’s name and seat number, but not their fate.

Others simply sat and dabbed tears from their eyes.

“Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong,” AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said on Twitter. He later announced he was traveling to Surabaya, saying most of the passengers are from there.

As word spread of the missing plane, the airline changed the color of its logo on its website and social media accounts from red to gray.

Start the discussion ...