Weather 'triggering factor' in AirAsia crash: Govt agency

Weather 'triggering factor' in AirAsia crash: Govt agency

JAKARTA - Weather was the "triggering factor" in the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 into the Java Sea a week ago with 162 people on board, according to Indonesia's meteorological agency.

The Airbus A320-200 crashed during a storm en route from Indonesia's second city Surabaya to Singapore, and relief workers are hunting for flight data recorders to determine the cause of the crash.

But an initial report on the website of BMKG, Indonesia's meteorological agency, suggests the weather at the time the plane went down sparked the disaster.

"Based on the available data received on the location of the aircraft's last contact, the weather was the triggering factor behind the accident," said a report on the agency's website.

The report said the aircraft appeared to have flown into storm clouds.

"The most probable weather phenomenon was icing which can cause engine damage due to a cooling process. This is just one of the possibilities that occurred based on the analysis of existing meteorological data," it said.

Major parts of the Airbus A320-200 were found in the sea off the island of Borneo late Friday and Saturday, raising hopes that the remaining bodies and the crucial black box recorders would soon be located.

Indonesia has pledged to investigate flight violations by AirAsia, saying the ill-fated aircraft had been flying on an unauthorised schedule when it crashed. The airline has now been suspended from flying the Surabaya-Singapore route.

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