Russia joins search for AirAsia flight QZ8501

Russia joins search for AirAsia flight QZ8501
Above: Beriev Be-200 (Beriev Aircraft Company)

A search and rescue team from Russia arrived in Jakarta on Friday to help with the search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501.

"Two aircraft of the Emergencies Ministry, Il-76 and Be-200, landed at the airport in Jakarta," a representative of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Alexander Drobyshevsky, was reported as saying by Russian online news portal sputniknews.com on Friday.

Drobyshevsky added that there were more than 70 rescuers on board.

The Be-200 is an amphibious aircraft while the Il-76 is a heavy transport aircraft.

The team arrived with special equipment, including a Folkon remote-controlled deep-water vehicle, an acoustic echo sounder, boats and engines for the equipment.

Earlier on Friday, Drobyshevsky said Russia sent the team based on a request by Indonesia and that Russia had initially offered Indonesia assistance in recovering the aircraft on Dec. 29.

Russian SAR personnel were previously involved in the search for a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100 that crashed into Mount Salak, Bogor, West Java, in 2012.

The ill-fated Airbus A320-200 aircraft was en route to Singapore from Surabaya before disappearing from radar at 7:55 p.m. Indonesian Air Force aircraft spotted debris and bodies believed to be from the aircraft with 162 on board on Tuesday.

Other foreign teams searching for the missing aircraft include those from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States. China has also offered assistance in the SAR mission.

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