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General : QZ8501: Families Remain Calm And Composed Amid News Of Debris Found

From Mohd Faizal Hassan

SURABAYA, Dec 30 (Bernama) — The situation at Juanda International Airport Terminal 2 Crisis Centre near here remained calm despite news on the sighting of debris of AirAsia Indonesia QZ8501 by search teams on Tuesday evening reported by local and international media.

The situation at the centre, located about 40 km from Surabaya, was controlled as hundreds of next-of-kins and family members continue to wait patiently for feedback from the authorities.

The chairman of the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) in Surabaya, M.Hernanto, was seen giving a briefing while employees of AirAsia Indonesia were seen consoling and comforting relatives of passengers of the ill-fated flight.

Words of comfort and pleas of “please be patient” were heard and relatives still appeared calm and composed eventhough they were looking at images of the search area with debris found telecast live over local television stations.

Some family members expressed the hope that the debris and fragments were not that of QZ8501.

So far, nothing has been verified by the Indonesian authorities.

Attempts by Bernama to get any reaction from the next of kins (nok) and families on the report of debris sighting, have not been successful as they were still confined in a special room at the crisis centre.

Local and international media had reported that at least 10 pieces of debris including emergency door, rafts and safety jackets had been spotted at the search area at Pangkalan Bun, West Kalimantan.

The 320-200 Airbus with 162 passengers and crew which departed from Surabaya at 5.35 am Sunday morning and scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 8.20 am lost communication with Indonesia air traffic control towers from 7.24 am.

A total of 155 of the passengers were Indonesian nationals.

— BERNAMA

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