Missing QZ8501: Malaysia govt will assist in search operations, says Najib

PM Najib

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Government will assist AirAsia to help find Flight QZ8501, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Sunday.

While still waiting for more details on the incident, Najib said what could be confirmed so far was that the Indonesian-owned aircraft went missing from the radar screens soon after departure.

"This means the possibility of something untoward happening to the aircraft.

"That's all I know (about the incident) right now and we will assist in finding out what happened to the aircraft," he told a news conference after visiting the flood relief centre at Sekolah Menengah Padang Tengku, here.

Flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board lost contact with ground control on Sunday after takeoff from Indonesia en route to Singapore.

The plane lost communication with Indonesia's Surabaya airport, 42 minutes after takeoff at 5.35am local time (6.35am Malaysian time), 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, adding that search and rescue operations were in progress.