China offers assistance in search of missing AirAsia

China today offered to send aircraft and ships to help in the search operations for an AirAsia flight that vanished over the Java Sea with 162 people on board.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 29, 2014, 14:49 PM IST

Beijing: China today offered to send aircraft and ships to help in the search operations for an AirAsia flight that vanished over the Java Sea with 162 people on board.

The flight which disappeared yesterday was flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

"The Chinese side has already said to Indonesia that it is willing to urgently send aircraft and ships to participate in search and rescue, and will provide other aid according to Indonesian needs," said Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Earlier reports said that Air Asia the plane from Surabaya in Thailand to Singapore with 162 people on board may have fallen to the bottom of the sea, 24 hours after it lost contact with air traffic control en route.

Those on board on the flight included 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Briton, one Malaysian, one Singaporean and one French citizen, airline officials said.

Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the plane with the registration number PK-AXC.

India too has put on standby three ships and a maritime surveillance aircraft for assistance in the search operation.