Jakarta, Dec 28: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 which went missing while flying to Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia is believed to have crashed into the sea around 80-100 nautical miles from Belitung island in Indonesia, a National Research and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) official said, according to a report published in the Jakarta Post on Sunday.
It is said the Airbus 230 had hovered over the sea near Belitung to avoid a thunderstorm before experiencing severe weather conditions and crashed. The plane has 162 people on board, including 149 Indonesians.
A massive search operation was underway to trace the missing flight. Singapore authorities offered cooperation in the search initiative. The flight lost all contact at 4.47 am Indian Standard Time.
A Malaysian passenger aircraft went missing soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 and was never found again. The plane had 239 people on board. [Search for missing MH370 resumes]