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What we know about AirAsia flight QZ8501

A different AirAsia Airbus A320, photographed in 2012.
A different AirAsia Airbus A320, photographed in 2012.
(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

What we know

  • Air traffic controllers lost contact with AirAsia flight QZ8501, traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.
  • Debris and bodies were found in the Karimata Strait of the Java Sea on Tuesday, and officials confirmed they came from the plane.
  • air asia debris

    Debris spotted in the area, believed to come from the missing plane. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The flight lost contact at 6:17 a.m. local time on Sunday, roughly 42 minutes after taking off from Surabaya. It was projected to last around two hours.
  • The plane, an Airbus A320-200, was carrying 155 passengers (including 15 children and one infant) and seven crew members. The passenger total includes 149 Indonesians, three Koreans, one Singaporean, one British person, and one Malaysian.
  • The plane lost contact with air traffic control somewhere between Kalimantan and Belitung island.

What we don't know

  • What caused the accident. Right now, it's believed that weather played a role, as there were severe thunderstorms in the flight areaIndonesian transport officials said that before losing contact, the flight's pilot requested permission to take an alternate route to avoid storms, and also requested rise from 32,000 feet to 34,000 feet, but the plane never ascended.
  • Where the main body of the aircraft is. Officials believe it's likely located on the ocean floor, which could help explain why no signals from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter have been detected.

This story has been updated to reflect ongoing developments.

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