The AirAsia flight QZ8501, which disappeared with 162 people on board on December 28, is likely to be at the bottom of the sea, said Indonesia’s top rescue official.

Talking to the media on December 29, Chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency Bambang Soelistyo said that the hypothesis was made based on available information and can be changed during the search process.

Indonesia doesn’t have equipment necessary to underwater search and rescue and may need help from other countries for this work, he stated.

Earlier on the day, the search for the missing plane has been resumed after being suspended over the night due to bad weather.

Australia’s air force deployed an aircraft to help with the search. Singapore also sent two more aircraft to join the search on December 29 over the area where the missing plane lost contact.

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry has established a centre operating around the clock to keep a close watch on the incident developments, while the country’s Defence Ministry said that it is ready for assistance if needed.

Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan said the government will check the safety standard of all AirAsia planes operating in Indonesia. So far, Malaysia-based AirAsia has received good appraisals in terms of flight safety. The missing plane got the latest maintenance on November 16.

The plane lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of December 28, only 42 minutes after it took off from Surabaya airport in Indonesia for Singapore. It carried 162 passengers and crew members, including 156 Indonesians, three Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one French.-VNA