As of Monday morning in Asia, the search for a missing AirAsia jetliner which disappeared carrying 162 people is resuming. The Airbus vanished from radar screens about 40 minutes after taking off from Indonesia en route to Singapore on Sunday. NewsHour's Zachary Green has more on the ongoing investigation.
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At Singapore's Changi airport, friends and relatives gathered to await news about AirAsia flight 8501, which disappeared early this morning. Among those waiting: the fiance of a young man who had been traveling with relatives.
It was supposed to be their last vacation, before we got married. It was to be his last vacation with his family.
The flight took off at 5:35 am local time from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city. The scheduled flight time to Singapore was 1 hour 55 minutes.
But at 6:
13 am, 38 minutes after takeoff, the pilot radioed air traffic control, asking to change course and increase altitude to avoid storm clouds. There were reports of lightning in the area.
The flight was last seen on radar three minutes later at 6:16 am, near Belitung island in the java sea.
A minute later, it was gone. According to an Indonesian transportation official, no distress signal had been sent out.
Search and rescue teams from Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia spent several hours Sunday searching for any sign of the plane, an Airbus A320. But as night fell, officials halted the search until morning. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, and India have all volunteered search and rescue teams.
I heard many rumors from people and I said the rumors are not true that the plane has been found and wreckage has been found — this is not true.
Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia, a budget carrier based in Malaysia, also cautioned against speculation.
We do not know what's happened yet, so we'll wait for the accident investigation to really find out what's happened. Our concern right now is for the relatives and for the next of kin. There is nothing more important to us for our crew's family, and for our passengers' families that we look after them.
Airasia has had a clean safety record since the company began operating in Malaysia 13 years ago. The plane that went missing had undergone maintenance just the month before.
Last march, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It's never been found.
In July, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.