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AirAsia jet with 162 missing

28 December 2014 22:11:10 The Asian Age

A relative of AirAsia flight QZ8501 passengers weeps as she waits for the latest news on the missing jetliner—(Photo: AP) An AirAsia plane with 162 people on board went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday after pilots requested a change of flight plan due to bad weather, triggering a massive search in the third major incident this year involving a Malaysian carrier. There were no Indian nationals on board Flight QZ8501. Amid fading hopes of finding any survivors, the massive search operation launched to locate the Airbus A320-200 with two Indonesian military aircraft and a helicopter scouring the seas was called off for the day due to bad weather and darkness, 11 hours after the plane disappeared. The search operation will resume on Monday morning even as some ships were continuing the scouring overnight, officials said. AirAsia Flight QZ8501 carrying 155 passengers — one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three South Koreans, 149 Indonesians and seven crew members — six Indonesians and a French co-pilot — lost contact with air traffic control at 0724 local time Indonesia. Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the plane with the registration number PK-AXC. Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla, speaking 10 hours after the plane lost contact, expressed deep concern, saying, “It is most possible that it has experienced an accident.” Contact with the plane, which took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5.20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8:30 am, was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. Indonesian officials earlier said the plane was several hours past the time when its fuel would have been exhausted. There were unconfirmed media reports that a aircraft crashed in the waters of East Belitung, off the east coast of Sumatra. The exact location of the crash site has not been identified, media reports said. However, Malaysia’s transport minister Liow Tiong Lai dismissed the claims that wreckage of the aircraft had been found. Asked about reports that the missing flight has crashed in Belintung, Mr Liow confirmed the reports to be false. “There is plenty of speculation that they have found the plane. At this point in time that is not true. We are still looking for the plane,” Mr Liow said. A statement on AirAsia’s Facebook page said: “AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 0724 hrs this morning.” Indonesian transport ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact. Air Asia said the pilots requested “deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control.” The Indonesia air transportation director said the pilot requested to increase altitude to 38,000 feet from 32,000 feet to “avoid clouds”. Thunderstorms were reported in the area with clouds up to 50,000 feet. The jet was flying at the regular cruising altitude for most jetliners — 32,000 feet — when the signal was lost, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24. No distress reports came from the plane, officials said. “At the present time, we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available,” the Malaysia-based carrier said. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes asked his company to stay strong. “Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong,” tweeted Mr Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries. “This is my worst nightmare, but there is no stopping,” he said, adding that he is headed to Indonesia. The last detected position of the missing flight is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on Belitung island and Kalimantan, Indonesia, according to Indonesia’s director of air transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo. “The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan,” said Mr Djoko. Two Indonesian air force planes and a helicopter scoured the seas around the islands of Bangka and Belitung in the Java Sea, across from Kalimantan on Borneo island. “We have focused all our strength, from the search and rescue agency, the military, police and help from the community as well as the fishermen,” rescue agency chief F.H.B. Soelistyo told reporters. He said three ships and three planes from Malaysia would join the search tomorrow. Singapore had offered a C130 plane and Australia also offered help. India has put on standby three ships and a maritime surveillance aircraft for assistance in the search operation. The aircraft was operated by AirAsia Indonesia. Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Bangka Belitung said it dispatched one vessel to search for the AirAsia flight. The pilot of the plane Captain Iriyanto has an experience of 6,100 flying hours. The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 239 people, including five Indians, that went missing on March 8. Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board. AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

Vice null Time28 December 2014 22:11:10


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AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 onboard goes missing

28 December 2014 11:20:13 The Asian Age

A relative of the passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 weeps as she waits for the latest news on the missing jet. (Photo: AP) An AirAsia plane with 162 people on board lost contact with ground control on Sunday while flying over the Java Sea after taking off from a provincial city in Indonesia for Singapore. The two countries immediately launched a search and rescue operation but there was no word on the plane's whereabouts more than six hours after it went missing. AirAsia, a regional low-cost carrier with presence in several Southeast Asian countries, said in a statement that the missing Airbus A330-300 was on the submitted flight plan route. However, it had requested deviation due to weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control. "We don't dare to pressume what has happened exceped that it has lost contact." Djoko Murjatmodjo, Indonesia's acting director general of transportation, told reporters. He said the last contact between pilot and the air traffic control was at 6.13 a.m. (2313 GMT Saturday) "when he asked to hinder cloud by turning left and go higher to 34,000 feet." He said there was no distress signal from Flight QZ8501. The contact was lost about 42 minutes after the single-aisle jetliner took off from Indonesia's Surabaya airport, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia's MetroTV. It was about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore at 0030gmt. Flight QZ8501 tlost communication with Jakarta's air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. Singapore time (2324 GMT Saturday) about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore, the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. The plane had two pilots, five cabin crew and 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement. Indonesian officials had earlier said there were 161 people on board, presumably because the infant was not counted. The AirAsia statement said there were six foreigners - three South Koreans and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France. The rest were Indonesians. It said the captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours, a substantial number, and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours. At Surabaya airport, dozens of relatives sat in a room, many of them talking on mobile phones and crying. Some looked dazed. Murjatmodjo, the Indonesian official, said the plane is believed to have gone missing somewhere over the Java Sea between Tanjung Pandan on Belitung island and Pontianak, on Indonesia's part of Kalimantan island. He said the pilot contacted Jakarta air traffic control 6:12 a.m. reporting clouds and asking to go higher from 32,000 feet (9,700 meters) to 34,000 feet (10,303 meters), the usual cruising altitude for jetliners. The Singapore statement said search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities. It said the Singapore air force and the navy also were searching with two C-130 planes. Flightradar24, a flight tracking website, said the plane was delivered in September 2008, which would make it six years old. The Malaysia-based AirAsia, which has dominated cheap travel in the region for years, has never lost a plane before. AirAsia Malaysia owns 49 percent of the Indonesian subsidiary. This is the third major air incident involving Malaysia this year. On March 8, Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a wide-bodied Boeing 777, went missing soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. It remains missing until this day with 239 people in one of the biggest aviation mysteries. Another Malaysia Airlines flight, also a Boeing 777, was shot down over rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine while on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17. A total of 298 people on board were killed. The crew's request for an unusual route is curious since the weather "didn't seem to be anything unusual," said William Waldock, an expert on air crash search and rescue with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. Severe weather is the reason pilots usually request a different route, but in this case the "winds were light, there were a few thin clouds, but that's about it," he said in an interview. Waldock cautioned against drawing comparisons to the disappearance of Malaysia flight 370. "I think we have to let this play out," he said. "Hopefully, the airplane will get found, and if that happens it will probably be in the next few hours. Until then, we have to reserve judgment." The circumstances bode well for finding the plane since the intended flight time was less than two hours and there is a known position at which the plane disappeared, he said.

Vice null Time28 December 2014 11:20:13


UN: MH17 downing ‘war crime’

29 July 2014 02:30:16 The Asian Age

Clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church take part in a march marking the 1026th anniversary of the Day of Baptism of Kievan. AFP Black boxes show crash caused by rocket shrapnel; MH17 victims may never be found: Cops The downing of Malaysian airliner MH17 may constitute a war crime, the UN said on Monday, as explosions and fighting blocked a new attempt by the Dutch and Australian police to reach the crash site in insurgent-held east Ukraine. The unarmed international mission was forced to turn around as heavy bombardment rocked towns close to the site, where the remains of some of the 298 victims still lie more than 10 days after the disaster. Ukraine’s military confirmed that its forces were engaged in fierce battles against rebels nearby, saying its troops had entered into towns, including Shakhtarsk, just 10 km away. UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay condemned the “horrendous shooting down” of the Malaysian passenger jet in rebel-held territory, and demanded a “thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation”. “This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime,” she said. The Red Cross has said Ukraine is now in civil war — a classification that would make parties in the conflict liable to prosecution for war crimes. A Ukrainian security official on Monday said that black boxes recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in rebel-held east Ukraine show shrapnel from a rocket explosion caused the passenger jet to crash. International investigators “indicated that data from flight recorders show that the reason for the destruction and crash of the plane was massive explosive decompression arising from multiple shrapnel perforations from a rocket explosion,” a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said. Data from the doomed airliner’s black boxes was decrypted in Britain after being handed over to Malaysian officials by pro-Russian rebels controlling the crash site of MH17. Investigators leading the probe in the Netherlands refused to confirm the latest information from Kiev, saying that they were “waiting to get a more complete idea of what happened.” Meanwhile, Dutch police chief Gerard Bouman said that all remains of the 298 people may never be recovered. “I would love to give a guarantee that all the remains will come back, and all possessions, but... I believe the chances are not very good that we will get it all,” he said in a briefing to Parliament in The Hague. Mr Bouman said all next-of-kin had been made aware of the situation, adding it was not even clear how many bodies remained unaccounted for. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged Russia’s defence industry to swiftly cut imports as the EU looks set to impose a ban on the sale of weapons and technology over Ukraine. He said that Russia’s arms industry is “definitely” capable of producing everything the country needs at a meeting on how to combat the sanctions. Russia will focus “on speeding up import-substitution efforts in the national defence industry and on the broadest possible switch to domestically-produced materials and parts for special hardware and weapons,” Mr Putin said.

Vice All News Time29 July 2014 02:30:16


Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven

23 July 2014 16:25:50 WN.com - World News

Travel Deals $1325 & up -- Rome, Florence & Venice 7-Nts. from Philly   See all travel deals » The Associated Press Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 8:49 AM EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (AP) - Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven. The Associated Press Advertise Here Latest News Video Latest News Stories: Phila.: OK folks, YOU fix the schools! A late, last goodbye for family of...

Vice All News Time23 July 2014 16:25:50


AP Top Stories July 20 P

20 July 2014 22:55:20 WN.com - World News

Here's the latest news for Sunday, July 20th: Deadliest day of Israel-Gaza fighting; Rebels move Malaysia Airlines crash bodies; Militias battle over Tripoli, Libya airport; James Garner dead at 86. advertisement | advertise on newsday Please log in to comment. Civility matters; to read our commenting guidelines. Log in Please enable JavaScript to view the More in...

Vice All News Time20 July 2014 22:55:20


Agreement over removal of bodies

20 July 2014 11:13:31 timesofmalta.com

The Ukraine government and the pro-Russia separatists who control the site of the Malaysian plane crash have reached a preliminary agreement to remove the bodies of the victims, a senior Ukrainian official said. News reports of how the bodies have been decaying for days in the summer sun have ignited outrage worldwide, especially from Holland, home to over half the 298 victims. Ukraine's emergency officials said today that 196 bodies have been recovered in an operation involving nearly 300 volunteers and rebels. Ukraine and the separatists accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Thursday as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur some 33,000ft above the battlefields of eastern Ukraine. Both deny the charge. The US has pointed blame at the separatists, saying Washington believes the jet was probably downed by an SA-11 missile from rebel-held territory and "we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel". The latest US intelligence assessment suggests that more than one missile system was given to the separatists by the Russians in the last week or so. But both Russia and the rebels vehemently deny any role in downing...

Vice All News Time20 July 2014 11:13:31


Disaster wipes out entire Malay family

20 July 2014 08:03:34 The Asian Age

Jamilah Noriah Abang Anuar (right) lost her daughter Ariza and her family. An entire family of six that had been returning home after three years living abroad was among the 44 Malaysians killed in the MH17 disaster, media reports said on Saturday. Tambi Jiee, 49, and his wife Ariza Ghazalee, 46, perished along with their four children when the Malaysia Airlines flight went down in eastern Ukraine. They were reportedly returning to Malaysia after her husband’s three-year posting in Kazakhstan for energy giant Shell, first taking a short European holiday. Images of a wailing Jamilah Noriah Abang Anuar, 72 Ariza’s mother dominated front pages of Malaysian dailies on Saturday. “I lost my daughter and her family in a blink of an eye,” the New Straits Times quoted her as saying from her home in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo island. Ariza had posted a photo on Facebook showing the family’s luggage as they prepared to embark from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for the flight to Kuala Lumpur. “17 July 2014, starting our new hijrah (journey), Alham-dulillah (praise God),” read the accompanying message. Her son Afzal Tambi also posted his thanks and farewells to friends from Kazakhstan on Thursday. “Before it gets too cheesy, I just want to thank everyone who made it bearable for me to live here and for sharing with me amazing memories to reminisce on.” The latest Malaysia Airlines disaster has rekindled the grief of MH370 relatives who say the new crash bears out their furious criticisms of the nation’s flag carrier and government. Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200, went down in strife-torn eastern Ukraine on Thursday with 298 passengers and crew, mostly Dutch citizens. he tragedy has reopened the deep emotional wounds caused by the March 8 disappearance of flight MH370, whose fate remains one of the biggest aviation mysteries ever. Many of them have repeatedly accused the airline and Malaysian government of withholding information and of suspicious conduct in handling the probe into the disaster. “My heart is breaking for another 295 souls on board, and another 295 families. Now I cannot stop shaking,” said Sarah Bajc, partner of MH370 passenger Philip Wood.

Vice null Time20 July 2014 08:03:34


MH17 Guildford father-of-two named as eighth British victim

19 July 2014 20:29:38 Russia News latest RSS headlines - Russia Herald.com

A father-of-two from Surrey who moved to New Zealand as a child has been named as the latest British victim of the Malaysia Airlines crash over ...

Vice All News Time19 July 2014 20:29:38


Dollar inches up on heels of New York losses fueled by the latest Malaysia Airlines tragedy

19 July 2014 20:22:58 Malaysia News latest RSS headlines - Malaysia Sun.com

TOKYO-The dollar edged up in Asian trade Friday after tumbling in New York on news that a Malaysia Airlines jet had crashed in Ukraine killing almost 300 people, with the U.S. saying it had been shot ...

Vice All News Time19 July 2014 20:22:58


MH17 Guildford father-of-two named as eighth British victim

19 July 2014 20:22:57 Malaysia News latest RSS headlines - Malaysia Sun.com

A father-of-two from Surrey who moved to New Zealand as a child has been named as the latest British victim of the Malaysia Airlines crash over ...

Vice All News Time19 July 2014 20:22:57