UPDATE: The wreckage of the ill-fated AirAsia plane has been located off the Borneo Island, near where it disappeared from radar screens. The terrible task of retrieving bodies from the water began today, 30 December 2014.
A year-end disaster to add to the tragic mix
By Mary Foran
An AirAsia plane carrying 162 people has disappeared over stormy Indonesian waters. Search and rescue teams fighting torrential rains have yet to find wreakage from the plane that vanished from radar halfway to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia Sunday morning. The plane had been in the air about 42 minutes when one of the pilots asked to avoid clouds by turning left and going higher to 34,000 feet.
AirAsia Flight 8501 now joins the doomed flights from the area, including the 239 people still missing from the disappeared Malaysian Flight 370 and the 298 people aboard the Malaysian Flight 17 which was shot down over rebel-held territory in the Ukraine in the past year.
AirAsia Flight 8501 had an Indonesian captain and a French co-pilot, five cabin crew members and 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant. The passengers included three South Koreans, a Malaysian, a British national and his 2-year-old Singaporean daughter. The rest of the passengers were Indonesian.
Flight 8501 disappeared while at cruising altitude, usually the safest part of the trip.
Malaysia and Singapore planned to deploy planes and ships, along with the 12 ships, three helicopters, five military aircraft and warships from Indonesia. Australia will lend assistance as well.
Featured image/topmost photo: Ad as timeline photo on AirAsia Facebook, now ironic in the face of the recent disaster
Singapore by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Singapore-CIA_WFB_Map.png. PD
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