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AirAsia QZ8501: Indonesia plane search resumes

The search is continuing for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, a day after it went missing with 162 people on board.

The head of Indonesia’s search-and-rescue agency has suggested the plane could be at the bottom of the sea, but no trace of it has yet been found, the BBC reports.

Officials in Surabaya, from where the plane took off, said search teams were only just reaching the area of the Java Sea where the plane is believed to be.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared early on Sunday on a flight to Singapore.

The pilots had requested a course change because of bad weather but did not send any distress call before the plane disappeared from radar screens.

“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,” Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told a news conference in Jakarta.

The search for the plane, near Belitung island, was largely suspended as night fell on Sunday.

Although some ships continued the hunt overnight, the main search planes and vessels, from several nations, only resumed on Monday.

Mr Soelistyo said Indonesia was providing 12 ships, three helicopters and five military aircraft.

Malaysia was to deploy a C-130 plane, along with three ships, with Singapore lending a C-130 and Australia also providing help.

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