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Rescuers resume search for AirAsia plane

December 31, 2014, 4:39 UTC+3 SINGAPORE
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SINGAPORE, December 31. /TASS/. Rescuers have resumed a search operation at the probable crash site of Malaysia’s AirAsia plane, Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency said on Wednesday.

The search area in the sea is due to be expanded from 11 to 13 sectors and will mainly focus on the zone where the jet wreckage and bodies were found on Tuesday.

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.

The search team includes representatives of Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore. Around 30 vessels, 15 aircraft and 20 helicopters are involved in the effort, which is hampered by bad weather.

The United States said in a statement on Wednesday it has already deployed the USS Sampson warship to support the search and rescue effort, and “is ready to deploy another ship if needed.”

The head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, Bambang Soelistyo, said rescuers had spotted three dead passengers possibly from the crashed jet, but not 40 as it was reported earlier.

He also said a door to the passenger cabin and a hatch of the luggage compartment were found in the sea 160 kilometers southwest of the town of Pangkalan Bun.

An AirAsia airplane with 155 passengers and 7 crew members onboard disappeared from radars last Sunday some 40 minutes after departure from Indonesia for Singapore.

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