Indonesia appreciates foreign help in AirAsia search

Indonesia appreciates foreign help in AirAsia search
Above: Head of the National Search and Rescue Agency Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo

JAKARTA - National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief Air Marshal FH Bambang Soelistyo expressed his appreciation to all foreign countries that have aided search and rescue efforts for the AirAsia plane that crashed in the Karimata Strait on Dec. 28.

Bambang said Basarnas had spent Rp 570 million (S$60,822) on search and rescue missions for the QZ8501 airplane. Buttressed by ample assistance from foreign countries, Basarnas did not require any major additional of funds from the Indonesian government.

"We are thankful for the foreign ships that helped us in the search and rescue efforts," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappeared on Dec. 28 en route from Surabaya, East Java, to Singapore with 162 people on board. Onboard were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, a Briton, a Singaporean, a French citizen and a Malaysian.

The plane crashed in the Java Sea near the Karimata Strait, some 95 nautical miles from Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.

Basarnas coordinated all search and rescue operations, which involved the military, police, and Transportation Ministry. The search also included several teams from foreign countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, the US Japan, China, South Korea, India and Russia.

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