Search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501: As it happened on Tuesday

Search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501: As it happened on Tuesday
  • The US Navy plans to send a second ship to help search for wreckage from an AirAsia jet, the Pentagon said. The USS Fort Worth, a littoral combat ship, is "prepared to deploy from the region from Singapore," spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a TV channel. "That ship can be ready to sail in a day or two," Kirby said, as per AFP.

  • AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes today said he was experiencing an airline chief executive's "worst nightmare" after wreckage and bodies were found in the search for Flight QZ8501.
    Speaking in Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya after meeting with distraught relatives of some of the 162 passengers, Fernandes said he "apologised profusely" for the accident. "The passengers were on my aircraft and I have to take responsibility for that," he said, adding that he was focusing on supporting the families, as per PTI.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of passengers and crew on board the ill-fated AirAsia plane after its wreckage and debris was found today. "Our thoughts are with the families of those on flight QZ8501. We offer our condolences and stand firmly with them in this hour of grief," Modi said in a statement.

  • Relatives of passengers on AirAsia flight QZ8501 began crying hysterically and fainting today as Indonesian television footage showed a body floating in the sea during aerial searches for the plane.

  • China has deployed a navy frigate to join the search operation to locate the debris of the AirAsia aircraft. Frigate Huangshan has reached waters in the southern part of the South China Sea, said a statement from the PLA navy.

  • AirAsia confirms that the debris found in Karimata Strait, off coast of Borneo, is from missing flight QZ8501. It posted the following statement on its Facebook page:  AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th. The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer. At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway.

  •  Mohd Najib Tun, Prime Minister of Malaysia tweets: "On behalf of all Malaysians, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those on Air Asia Indonesia QZ8501. We share your sorrow."

  • As rescuers continue to look for more bodies from Java Sea waters, the sight at Indonesia's airport was one of chaos and tragedy as inconsolable kins of the passengers wailed and cried as they became more sure of the plane's crash. 

  • Thanks to the shallow waters of the Java Sea, the recovery process for rescuers scouring the waters has been made much easier, reports say.

  • President Joko Widowo and AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes are on their way to Surabaya as bodies continue to be pulled out from the sea. The airlines CEO expressed regret as it became clear that the plane had crashed in the sea.



  • Rescuers aboard Indonesian warship Bun Tomo have so far retrieved 40 bodies and more bodies continue to be recovered, said Navy spokesman.

  • Local media reports from Indonesia say that at least six bodies have been retrieved from the sea. 

  • Officials say that most of the debris floating in the sea is of red and white colour - the colour of the missing AirAsia Flight 8501.

  • Watching the footage of bodies being spotted on TV, relatives of the ill-fated plane's passengers broke into tears and hugged each other as if silently sharing the grief, said an AFP report.

"They hugged one another and continued crying until an AirAsia officer shouted - This is crazy," the report quoted a journalist saying.

  • The confirmation of AirAsia jet debris and victims' bodies being spotted in the Java Sea might have come as a rude and shocking piece of news for the relatives of Flight QZ8501 passengers, dousing their hopes that the plane might not have crashed and that their kins might be alive. Earlier, the relatives of AirAsia Flight 8501 passengers told BBC in they were hoping the debris does not turn out to be the missing plane.

  • In what further increases the probability of the plane having crashed in the Java Sea, Indonesian search and rescue chief Bambang Sulistyo said at a press conference that  Indonesian air force Hercules at 12:50 local time, had spotted a shadow in the shape of plane beneath water. "At 13:25... we spotted a floating object believed to be one of the passengers` bodies,"  Soelistyo added.

  • After two days of fruitless search over the Java Sea, where the plane lost contact, suddenly, a lots of debris (said to be that of the missing plane) and even victims' bodies are said to have been sighted in the search area. 

  • Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities were in the process of checking if there were any survivors, Navy officials stated.

    “Crew had visual of people at sea surface, not far from debris,”officials told local media.

  • Besides debris, several victims' bodies too, spotted floating over the waves in Java Sea, Indonesian officials told local TV.  “There was a man swaying on the waves. After I looked at the photo carefully on my laptop, I understood it was a human body,” a lieutenant of the Indonesian Air Force was quoted as saying by a news agency.

  • Debris spotted today during an aerial search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 is from the missing plane, Indonesia`s director general of civil aviation  Djoko Murjatmodjo 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," the AFP quoted Djoko Murjatmodjo.

  • Indonesian TV also showed the footage of two large objects coloured orange and grey, one of them several metres in length, that were spotted floating in the Java Sea on Tuesday and which could possibly be the debris from the missing AirAsia plane, Reuters reports.

  • Indonesian Air Force has said that ten large objects have been spotted in Java Sea in the search area, six miles from where the AirAsia plane had lost contact.

  • Indonesian authorities now claim that some objects resembling a plane's emergency slide and plane door have been spotted in the search area, AFP reports. Earlier today, the authorities spoke of "billowing smoke" spotted on Long Island in search zone. However it is too early to say if these are actually the clues that may lead to the missing plane.

  • Loud bang heard? In what may further be of help to search officials, there are reports that two fishermen had heard a "loud bang" on Sunday - the day the AirAsia flight QZ 8501 went missing. Indonesia's search-and-rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo Tuesday said that officials would be speaking to those two fishermen who had reported hearing a loud explosion on Sunday, the BBC said.

  • On Tuesday, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue officials in Banka Belitung province told the BBC they were deploying teams to investigate reports of "billowing smoke" on Long Island, just south of Belitung island, inside the search zone. the smoke was reportedly spotted by a Chinese TV crew.

  • The smoke has been reported to be spotted on Long Island, one of thousands of islands that form the Indonesian archipelago.

  • In the latest report that could kindle fresh hope in the search for the missing AirAsia plane, Indonesian authorities say smoke spotted on an island in the search area, the BBC reports.

  • Meanwhile, the US military is sending a guided missile destroyer USS Sampson to assist Indonesia in the search operations.


  • In what he called as one of his toughest days, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes yesterday visited Surabaya airport and visited the devastated families of the passengers aboard the missing plane.



  • Indonesia along with the help from the US, France and Australia is overseeing the search operations over the Java sea.
  • Around 30 ships and 21 aircraft from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea would search up to 10,000 square nautical miles on Tuesday, Reuters cited officials as saying.
  • The search for the missing plane AirAsia flight QZ8501 has entered Day 3, and the search zone has been widened far beyond the plane's original flight path.
  • AirAsia flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people that went off the radar on Sunday morning, could have crashed and be likely at the bottom of the Java Sea, an Indonesian official said on Monday.
  • Despite two days of search and spotting, nothing solid was found that could be called as a clue to the missing plane.
  • An Australian plane did spot some objects in the search area but later the Vice President Joseph Kalla ruled out any possibility of the objects being linked to the missing plane.
  • Also an Indonesian plane had spotted oil spots, but President Joko Widowo doused hopes by saying, "We have to tell it like it is... So far our efforts haven't found clarity about the plane's position."
  • The possible oil slicks that were spotted in the seas off Belitung island by an Indonesian plane on Monday turned out to be reefs.

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