Debris spotted during an aerial search for Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is likely from the missing plane, said Indonesia’s director-general of civil aviation, as rescue teams also reported sightings that resembled bodies.
Djoko Murjatmodjo was quoted as saying that “for the time being, it can be confirmed that it’s the AirAsia plane".
A navy chief spokesman told reporters separately on Tuesday that the
"crew had visual of people at sea surface, not far from the debris."
"We are checking whether the people are still alive," navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir told TVOne.
Items resembling an emergency slide and plane door were spotted
during an aerial search east of where flight QZ8501 was last detected on
“We spotted about 10 big objects and many more small white-coloured
objects which we could not photograph,” Indonesian Air Vice Marshall
Agus Dwi Putranto told reporters in Pangkalanbun Bun in central
Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
“The position is 10km from the location where the plane was last captured by radar,” he said.
Local television showed him displaying 10 photos of objects resembling a plane door, emergency slide, and a box-like object.
Search vessels and aircraft are now heading to the area, officials said.
The latest developments came as Indonesian authorities expanded the
search operation for the plane which went missing with 162 people on
Flight QZ8501 vanished from the radar screens on Sunday morning over
the Java Sea about 40 minutes after taking off from Surabaya to
The aircraft had reportedly requested to deviate from its original
flight path to avoid thick clouds and rise to a height of 38,000 feet
from the initial height of 32,000 feet.
Indonesian air traffic control lost contact with the plane at 6.24am
(Western Indonesian time, an hour behind Malaysian time) as it was
flying with 155 passengers and seven crew members.