Search for flight resumes

THE search resumed yesterday morning for a AirAsia flight that went missing while travelling from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board.

Indonesian officials remained hopeful of locating the aircraft quickly but said it was too early to detect any of the electronic “pings” from the jet’s black box recorder.

More than 100 distraught relatives of passengers aboard missing flight QZ8501 spent the night hunkered down at a makeshift crisis centre at Surabaya airport in East Java, waiting anxiously for news.

AirAsia Malaysia chief Tony Fernandes was at the airport himself trying to comfort the families, but the airline could offer little besides food, a hotel for the night and assurances that all was being done to find the lost plane.

“We’ve been given accommodation from AirAsia but I couldn’t rest with this on my mind,” said one man who gave his name as Haryanto and who has four relatives on board.

He said he had been waiting at the airport for 10 hours.

Mr Fernandes, a Premier League soccer club chairman and former Warner Music executive, addressed the relatives at a makeshift crisis centre set up in offices next to the terminal.

“Indonesian authorities are doing their best now for search and rescue, it’s best not to speculate,” he said.

“Our first priority is to look after the families.”

Information on the fate of the plane that went missing on Sunday is scant.

The pilots asked to change course to avoid bad weather about midway through a journey from Surabaya to Singapore, but issued no distress call.

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