SINGAPORE – About 20 relatives of passengers on the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 that went missing yesterday are anxiously waiting at the Changi Airport’s Terminal 2, here and praying that their loved ones are safe.
The aircraft from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore was scheduled to arrive at 8.30am local time, but lost contact with Indonesian Air Traffic Control at 7.24am local time.
One of the relatives, who did not want to be named, but based on her dialect, sounded like an Indonesian Chinese said the Singapore Authorities had not provided new info but only said the plane had lost contact.
The lady has four relatives on board, comprising 17 year olds and two 9 year olds.
She said she saw 10 plus family members of passengers at the CAAS briefing here.
Another relative who refused to be named said that her relatives on the flight were supposed to come to Singapore for a holiday.
“We hope and pray that our loved ones will be safe,” she said in a sad note.
In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said Indonesia had accepted Singapore’s offer to assist in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501.
The Singapore Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), managed by CAAS and supported by various agencies, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), had offered assistance to BASARNAS, the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency, this morning.
“We have offered our planes and ships to assist in the search, and received confirmation from the Indonesian authorities this afternoon at 2.30pm to accept our offer, requesting for one C130 for now. We have already launched it to assist with the search and rescue efforts,” CAAS said.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 which took off at 5.20am from Surabaya, Indonesia and scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30am, last contacted the ATC at 6.12am (7.12am Malaysian time).
There were seven crew and 155 passengers on board the A320-200 aircraft, comprising 155 passengers and seven crew members made up of 159 Indonesians, 3 (South Korea) and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France.
Meanwhile, 47 relatives and friends of 57 passengers on board the Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 have registered at the Singapore Changi Airport’s Relatives’ Holding Area (RHA) at Terminal 2.
In a statement, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said help and support was being provided to them at the RHA by 36 CAG care officers and four counsellors from the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
Other staff from CAG, AirAsia and airport partners, as well as officials from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, were also present to assist.
Arrangements for local accommodation or for travel to Indonesia have been made for the next-of-kin.
In response to media queries, three Indonesia Air Asia flights were rescheduled. – Bernama
A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct possible next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore …