AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

An AirAsia flight takes off from Narita airport near Tokyo in 2012. (AP Image)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – An AirAsia plane with 162 people aboard lost contact with ground control on Sunday after takeoff from Indonesia on the way to Singapore, and search and rescue operations were underway.

The plane lost communication with Jakarta’s air traffic control at 7:24 a.m., about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore, the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. The contact was lost about 42 minutes after takeoff from Indonesia’s Surabaya airport, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia’s MetroTV.

AirAsia said in a statement that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress.

Mustofa said the plane had seven crew and 155 passengers, and lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands.

The Singapore aviation authority said it was informed about the missing plane by Jakarta ground control about half an hour after the contact was lost.

“Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities,” it said, adding that the Singapore air force and the navy also were activated with two C-130 planes.

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