QZ8501: Indonesia halts search operation for the night

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Jakarta, Dec 28: Indonesian authorities called off the search operation for the missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board on Sunday night. [Missing AirAsia plane might have crashed: Indonesia]

The operation will resume as soon as the sun rises on Monday. Some ships were continuing with the search operation overnight, Indonesia's search and rescue agency Basarnas said.


The plane lost control around 7.24 am Indonesian time on Sunday after its pilots sought permission to change course to avoid adverse weather conditions.

The plane was going from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore. The Airbus 320-200 was carrying 149 Indonesian nationals among its 155 passengers. No distress signal had been sent, the Indonesian transport authorities said.

Singapore, Malaysia, Great Britain, South Korea and Australia offered to help in the search operation. The Indian Navy also prepared itself to undertake any action required in tracking the missing aircraft.

Malaysia-based AirAsia owns 49 per cent of Indonesia AirAsia and the budget carrier has a clean safety record in its 13 years of operation. The AirAsia group also has affiliated in Thailand, India and the Philippines.

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