Go to contents

AirAsia plane with 162 missing over stormy Indonesian waters

AirAsia plane with 162 missing over stormy Indonesian waters

Posted December. 29, 2014 08:00,   


The Indonesian authority said AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 is believed to have been crashed due to bad weather around 2:20 p.m. (4:20 p.m. Korea time), some seven hours after the passenger jet went missing.

The online edition of the Jakarta Post reported that Indonesia’s search and rescue authority announced Flight QZ8501 is believed to have crashed in the sea at south latitude 03.22.46 and east longitude 108.50.07, in Java waters about 145 km off Belitung Island. According to the aviation authority’s announcement, it is speculated that the plane was circling above the sea to avoid thunderstorms and crashed after experiencing severe turbulences.

○ At least 3 Koreans on board

Immediately after the accident, the Korean Embassy in Indonesia said it confirmed three Korean nationals, including a 30-something couple and an infant, were aboard the ill-fated plane. The passenger list suggests that they are a man identified by his last name Park, a woman identified by Lee, and an infant by Park. Considering this, chances are high that the three are a Korean couple and their young child.

However, the Korean Embassy said that the list includes two additional names, possible to be those of Koreans, and thus needed additional checking. Even though AirAsia confirmed that three of the passengers were Koreans, two others could also be Koreans with different nationality.

It remains uncertain whether the three people aboard the plane are Korean nationals from Korea and Koreans living overseas. Surabaya where the plane departed is the capital of East Java Province and Indonesia’s second largest city with a population of 3 million. This is part of a popular tourism course that Koreans visiting East Java travel through. However, since there are few planes directly linking Surabaya and Korea, many of the Koreans who visit the city transit at Singapore’s Changi Airport or in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Also, some 1,500 Koreans, including ethnic Korean residents and workers dispatched from Korea to the city, are reportedly living in Surabaya. Hence, the victims could be ethnic Koreans living there or Korean nationals who visited their relatives there as well.

○ Search operation starts

Soon after learning that the commercial jet went missing, the Indonesian authority urgently sent a rescue team to waters of Java Island. Malaysia and Singapore also joined the search operation.

The waters around Java that have been singled out as the crash site are only 40 meters to 50 meters deep on average. If the plane crashed there, it will likely be relatively easy to discover debris.