Indonesia (MNN) — On Sunday, AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control and disappeared. It should have been a quick two-hour trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
Reuters said the pilot asked for but did not receive permission to fly from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet, to avoid bad weather. Five minutes later, contact was lost. The aircraft was flying around 353 knots–about 100 knots too slow for bad weather. It was suggested that the plane might have stalled.
On Demand News (ODN) says around 30 ships and 15 aircraft have been searching for the plane.
Hopes for any survivors were dashed on Tuesday, Dec. 30. ODN reports debris and bodies were found in the Java Sea, and an Indonesian search and rescue team confirmed the debris was from the AirAsia plane.
ABC News reported teams could make out a shadow of a plane.
162 people were on board the flight: 155 from Indonesia, three from South Korea, and one person each from the United Kingdom, France, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Grief is overtaking those whose friends and family were onboard.
CNN reported just several of the people grieving were two teenage girls who lost their parents, a woman who lost her brother, and a woman who lost her fiancé.
Bloomberg looked to the young South Korean family of three on board who were Christian missionaries. Park Seong-beom, wife Lee Kyung-hwa, and their infant daughter moved to Indonesia to work alongside ordained missionaries. They were finally fulfilling their dream of sharing the Gospel.
One of Park’s Sunday school students, Kim Seong Ryeong, told Bloomberg by phone, “He was strong in his faith and wanted to be of service to people more than anything. He wanted to contribute what skills he had to other people. We feel devastated that he and his family are missing.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, there are nearly 26,000 South Korean missionaries working across the globe; approximately 700 of them are based in Indonesia. 87% of Indonesia is Muslim.
Pray for comfort for the grieving friends and family members of those who perished.