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SINGAPORE, December 29. /TASS/. The lost AirAsia jet is being searched in the area of Indonesian island Belitung situated on the boundary between the Java Sea and the South China Sea, Indonesian Air Force said on Monday, resuming the search operation with dawn.
“We are focusing our search on the waters east and north of Belitung Island,” French news agency France Presse quoted an Indonesian Air Force official as saying, noting that “this is partly cloudily, but sunny in general [in the search area].” On Sunday evening, the search had to be suspended over the darkfall and worse weather.
Indonesia is leading the search operation for the airliner, because the contact was lost with the jet, when it was flying in its responsibility zone. Indonesia has dispatched seven jets, four naval ships and six research vessels. Malaysian Navy and Air Force has earlier also joined the search for the missing jet, sending three ships and a military transport plane to the search operation area. On Monday, Singapore has dispatched a jet C-130 Hercules in the search area in addition to two ships.
The contact with the AirAsia jet was lost on Sunday morning, presumably in the area of Kalimantan Island (Borneo) over the Java Sea 42 minutes after the take-off. The airline said that the jet 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, a Singaporean and a French second pilot.