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Jakarta Post

Govt confirms debris from AirAsia

Nadya Natahadibrata and Hans Nicholas Jong
Jakarta   ●   Tue, December 30, 2014

The Transportation Ministry'€™s acting director general of air transportation, Djoko Murjatmodjo, confirmed on Tuesday that wreckage discovered in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, was from AirAsia flight QZ8501.

'€œIt has been confirmed that it is debris from an aircraft bearing red and white colors,'€ Djoko said, citing that the debris was found by the ministry'€™s rescue team.

'€œThe recovery process will now be centered in the debris location in coordination with Basarnas [the National Search and Rescue Agency],'€ he continued.

Flight QZ8501, en route to Singapore from Indonesia'€™s second-biggest city of Surabaya in East Java, was officially declared missing on Sunday morning.

The ministry said that Jakarta'€™s air traffic control (ATC) had been about to approve the flight'€™s request to climb to a higher altitude when the plane vanished.

Earlier, Basarnas reported that it had found 10 pieces of debris during its search for the ill-fated AirAsia Indonesia aircraft southwest of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan.

Basarnas spokesman M. Yusuf Latif said on Tuesday that a CN maritime patrol aircraft from the Indonesian Air Force first discovered the debris during a search on Tuesday morning.

"We just searched [the location] until 11 a.m. So, according to estimations, the debris was seen at 10:15 a.m.," he told reporters at the agency's headquarters in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

The location of the debris matched information from two fishermen in Pangkalan Bun who said that they heard a thud and saw explosions on Sunday morning, Yusuf said.

According to Yusuf, after being notified of the discovery, Basarnas immediately dispatched a chopper to the location.

"We are ordering two members of the Basarnas team to retrieve the debris using hoists," Yusuf said. (++++)