AirAsia flight QZ8501: Unconfirmed online reports say wreckage found in Belitung Island

Basarnas (Indonesia's national search and rescue agency) chief F.H. Bambang Soelistyo points to the approximate location where the ill-fated AirAsia plane was last detected by radar on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA 
Basarnas (Indonesia's national search and rescue agency) chief F.H. Bambang Soelistyo points to the approximate location where the ill-fated AirAsia plane was last detected by radar on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA 

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Unconfirmed reports have emerged online that wreckage, allegedly to be from the missing Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, has been found in the waters off East Belitung Island.

This was reported by the Bangka Pos, which however added that there was no confirmation that the purported wreckage is indeed from QZ8501.

The news follows a press conference by Indonesia's Director of Air Transport Djoko Murjatmodjo on Sunday morning.

Mr Djoko had said the last detected position of the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on Belitung island and Kalimantan, Indonesia.

"The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan," said Mr Djoko.

The plane lost communication with Indonesia's Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff at 5.35am local time, Mr Hadi Mustofa, an official of Indonesia's Transportation Ministry told Indonesia's MetroTV.

AirAsia said in a statement that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress.

Mr Mustofa said the plane lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands.