SINGAPORE, December 28. /TASS/. Rescuers have suspended the search for a lost Malaysian AirAsia airliner over falling darkness, Indonesian Transport Ministry reported on Sunday.
“The search was suspended due to darkfall and will resume in the morning tomorrow (Monday),” the ministry said in a statement. The rescue operation is complicated by the bad weather, he said.
The jet is being searched for in the area of Belitung, an island off the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the Java Sea. Indonesian rescue services will lead the operation. Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have already offered their aid in the search.
In particular, Singaporean Civil Aviation Authority said that the agency dispatched a military transport jet C-130 Hercules in the search zone. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said three ships and a jet C-130 Hercules would be provided for aid to Indonesia. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also said that a marine reconnaissance plane P3-Orion was sent to the search area of the lost airliner.
AirAsia Airline reported that Airbus A320-200 was carrying 162, particularly 155 passengers, including 17 children, two pilots, a flight engineer and four stewards. As many as 155 of them are Indonesian citizens, three South Koreans, a British citizen, a Malaysian citizen, a Singaporean and a French second pilot.
Indonesian ground air controlling services have lost contact with Airbus A320-200 belonging to Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia on the way from Surabaya, the second largest Indonesian city, to Singapore. The contact was lost with the jet, presumably in the area of the Borneo Island over the Java Sea 42 minutes after the take-off.