AirAsia QZ8501 ‘At Bottom of Sea’

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

The missing AirAsia flight is likely to be at the “bottom of the sea”, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue operation has said.

The BBC reports that Bambang Soelistyo said that due to the coordinates of the flight when it was lost, it was most likely that it had crashed into the ocean.

The search continues for the missing aircraft, a day after it disappeared from radar while flying to Singapore. The pilot had requested a change of course due to bad weather, but did not send out any distress call before the plane went missing.

Soelistyo told a news conference in Jakarta: “Based on the co-ordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea.”

The news came as an Australian plane spotted debris in the sea while searching for the flight. The spot happened near the island of Nangka, about 700 miles from the location where the plane disappeared.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said, however, that there was not enough evidence to say the debris was linked to the flight.

Searchers are also at an oil slick off the coast of Belitung island, although again there is little evidence to link it to the flight.