Kuala Lumpur, Dec 29 (IANS) Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Monday that six more assets had been deployed to assist the search operations for the AirAsia flight QZ8501 which vanished Sunday with 162 people onboard on its way from Indonesia to Singapore.
He said Malaysia had deployed three vessels and three aircraft for the search operation, Xinhua reported.
“The Royal Malaysian Navy vessels, the KD PAHANG, KD LEKIP and KD LEKIU, have been deployed,” Liow said, adding that the Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft have been assigned and are currently searching the area east of Belitung island.
The aircraft took off at 5.20 a.m. (local time) from the Indonesian city of Surabaya and was to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30 a.m. Sunday, officials said.
Indonesian officials said the pilot sought an unusual route due to thunderstorms between Kalimantan and Belitung island, before the aircraft lost contact with the air traffic control.
The aircraft was then at 32,000 feet over the Java Sea in Indonesian territory.