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Object spotted in sea not from AirAsia plane: Indonesian VP

Monday, December 29, 2014 - 18:48
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An object spotted during a sea search for an AirAsia plane was not from the aircraft, Indonesia's vice president said on Monday, after reports that an Australian surveillance aircraft had found something.

[JAKARTA] An object spotted during a sea search for an AirAsia plane was not from the aircraft, Indonesia's vice president said on Monday, after reports that an Australian surveillance aircraft had found something.

"It has been checked and no sufficient evidence was found to confirm what was reported," Jusuf Kalla told a press conference at Surabaya airport from where the ill-fated plane departed.

Mr Kalla said there were 15 ships and 30 aircraft searching the area.

"It is not an easy operation in the sea, especially in bad weather like this," he said.

Indonesian Air Force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto told AFP the search was now focused on a patch of oil spotted off Belitung island in the Java Sea.

"We are making sure whether it was avtur (aviation fuel) from the AirAsia plane or from a vessel because that location is a shipping line," he said.

Australia, Singapore and Malaysia have deployed planes and ships to assist in the Indonesian search for Flight QZ8501, which disappeared over the Java Sea on Sunday en route to Singapore.

AFP