2014-12-29 18:46:00

Search for missing Air Asia flight continues

(Vatican Radio)  An Air Asia passenger plane with 162 people on board which disappeared on Sunday off the coast of Indonesia still cannot be found. Five countries are helping to look for it, as Alastair Wanklyn reports from Tokyo

Search crews spent a second day looking for wreckage.

"There are 30 ships operating in this area, and around 15 airplanes and helicopters."

Planes are flying as low as 500 metres above the sea to search for wreckage.

There were reports of possible debris, and also oil floating, but Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla said search conditions are difficult:

"It is not easy of course, operation in the sea, especially in bad weather.

The missing jet was flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore. The pilot reported bad weather and asked Indonesian air traffic control to let the plane fly higher. That permission was not granted for several minutes, and five minutes later the plane disappeared, Indonesian authorities said.

The carrier, AirAsia said when debris is identified, investigators may understand what happened.

“We don’t really want to speculate until we find the aircraft, we..what went wrong, then we’ll look into it.”  AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandez.

The carrier is based in Malaysia. This is the third air disaster this year with a Malaysia connection. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was apparently shot down over Ukraine; Flight 370, which disappeared in March, is still missing.

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