Families Of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Passengers Wait Anxiously At Juanda Airport In Surabaya

Hours after an AirAsia plane left Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia and lost contact with ground control in the midst of bad weather, friends and families of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 passengers began anxiously gathering at Juanda airport, hoping for news. Almost all of the passengers aboard Flight QZ8501 are from Indonesia, with the exception of three South Korean citizens, one French, one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, and one South Korean; 149 Indonesians boarded the plane as passengers, and another six Indonesians as flight crew.

The plane didn't put out a distress signal, but had asked ground control to change its flight route to avoid bad weather that hovered over the Java Sea — over which AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was flying. Two hours are takeoff, the plane lost contact with ground control; Singapore immediately activated its navy and promised to help Indonesia in the sea search for the flight.

Both pilots were seasoned travelers, and the Airbus plane, according to Airbus, had logged more than 13,000 flights. It's thought that an investigation into the plane's disappearance, should no other information become available, center on the bad weather surrounding the flight.

Meanwhile, a woman in the waiting area told AFP she had six family members on the plane.

They have always flown with AirAsia and there was no problem. I am shocked to hear the news, and I am very worried that the plane might have crashed.

Indonesia sent ships to investigate the area, but poor visibility led to the search being called off until morning.

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