The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation is currently verifying information claiming that the missingAirAsia aircraft has made an emergency landing in the eastern part of the Belitung island in the Java Sea, the ministry’s representative said Sunday.
“We at the [crisis] center [in Jakarta] have not received such information yet. According to some data, our colleagues in Surabaya have learned it. We are currently checking this,” the ministry’s representative J. A. Barata told Detik.com.
According to Detik.com, a relative of a missing passenger received a text message from an unknown sender, stating that the plane made an emergency landing and all passengers were alive.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 a.m. local time (00:24 GMT) and went missing.
I am touched by the massive show of support especially from my fellow airlines. This is my worse nightmare. But there is no stopping.
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) December 28, 2014
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) December 28, 2014
Earlier in the day, AirAsia issued a statement confirming the crash of the aircraft, while the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation said it was not ready to confirm this information.
The destiny of the 162 people on board remains unknown.
Search and rescue operations are being conducted by the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) under the guidance of the Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Malaysia, Singapore and Australia have also offered to assist in search for the missing aircraft.
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) December 28, 2014
— Singapore Government (@govsingapore) December 28, 2014
AirAsia Indonesia operates domestic flights within the Indonesian archipelago and international flights to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Thailand. The company is an affiliate of the Malaysian company AirAsia. In 2007, AirAsia Indonesia was banned from operating flights to the European Union (EU) due to safety concerns; however, the ban was lifted in July 2010, the BBC reports.
Reports in Indonesia that Australia is sending three RAAF P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft to search for the missing #AirAsia plane
— Michael Bachelard (@mbachelard) December 28, 2014
— Our Singapore Army (@OurSgArmy) December 28, 2014