AirAsia plane missing over Java Sea, 162 on board

An AirAsia flight with 162 aboard lost contact with ground controllers over the Java Sea between Surabaya, Indonesia, and the plane’s intended destination, Singapore, the airline said Sunday.

Air traffic controllers lost communication with flight QZ8501 at 7:24 am local time.

There were 155 passengers on board, two pilots and five cabin crew, the airline said. The passengers included 138 adults, 16 children and one infant.

The airline said in a statement on Facebook that the missing aircraft was an Airbus A320-200.

The aircraft had requested “deviation due to enroute weather” before losing communication with ground controllers, the airline said in an updated statement. Over the past week, Malaysia has witnessed severe flooding along its east coast, with at least five people dead and more than 120,000 displaced.

Flight QZ8501’s captain had clocked 6,100 flight hours and the first officer had a total of 2,275 flight hours, the statement said. The company added that the missing aircraft had been in for routine maintenance on Nov. 16.

The contact ended about 42 minutes after takeoff, according to Hadi Mustofa, an official with the Indonesian transportation ministry who spoke to Indonesia’s MetroTV. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said it was notified 30 minutes after contact was lost.

The Singapore Air Force and Navy are already searching with two C-130 aircraft.

The Malaysia-based AirAsia has never lost a plane before, the Associated Press reported.

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