AirAsia flight missing after losing contact with ATC; no Indians onboard

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Singapore, Dec 28: An AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people aboard reportedly went missing today after losing contact with air traffic controllers. Flight QZ8501 lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control just after 07:24am local time, a transport official told local media.

Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There was no Indian nationals on board. The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5.20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's Changi Airport at 8.30 am.

AirAsia flight

A statement on AirAsia's Facebook page said, "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 0724hrs this morning."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," it said.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. "At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," the statement said.

Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, local media reported. The plane lost contact somewhere between Kalimantan and Belitung island, Hadi was quoted as saying.

An Indonesian transport official confirmed that seven crew and 155 passengers were on board. Indonesian TV are reporting there were 149 Indonesians, three Koreans, one Singaporean, one Briton and one Malaysian on board.

PTI

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