AirAsia flight QZ8501: Friends, relatives of passengers waiting for news at Changi Airport

An unidentified relative of a passenger on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 entering the holding area at Changi Airport. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
An unidentified relative of a passenger on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 entering the holding area at Changi Airport. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
An unidentifed relative (left) of a passenger on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore is surrounded by the media as she leaves the holding area at Changi Airport. -- PHOTO: AFP
An unidentifed relative (left) of a passenger on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore is surrounded by the media as she leaves the holding area at Changi Airport. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct relatives of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 to the holding area. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct relatives of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 to the holding area. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Friends and relatives of passengers on the AirAsia Indonesia plane that vanished on its way to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia were ushered quickly into a holding room in Changi Airport on Sunday morning.

Airport staff and auxiliary police officers cordoned the area on the third floor of Terminal 2 at Changi Airport from the public.

Screens later went up to block the view of the area, as onlookers gathered for a look.

A group of four men leaving the room told reporters they were from the Indonesian Embassy here and had been briefed on the situation.

A middle-aged Indonesian woman living in Singapore, who did not give her name, said four of her relatives are on board, including two teens aged 12 and 17.

The flight was carrying seven crew and 155 passengers, and lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24 am. The passengers include 138 adults, 16 children and one infant.

Most of the the 162 passengers on board the plane are Indonesians.

Indonesia AirAsia has advised that one Singaporean is on board the missing flight. It added that it had made contact with the relatives of the Singaporean and are providing them with necessary assistance and support.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said that a Relatives' Area (RA) at Changi Airport Terminal 2 has been set up to provide assistance to next-of-kin of passengers onboard.

Next-of-kin are advised to go to the information counter located in the middle of Terminal 2 Arrival Hall (Level 1). They can also contact Indonesia AirAsia at +62 (21) 2985 0801 for more information.