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Still No Signs Of Missing AirAsia Airplane As Indonesia Seeks U.S. Help

A crew of an Indonesian air force C-130 airplane of the 31st Air Squadron looks out the window during the search for AirAsia Flight 8501 over the waters of Karimata Strait in Indonesia on Monday.
A crew of an Indonesian air force C-130 airplane of the 31st Air Squadron looks out the window during the search for AirAsia Flight 8501 over the waters of Karimata Strait in Indonesia on Monday.

Update at 5:49 p.m.

Indonesia has asked the U.S. for help in locating the missing AirAsia jetliner, the State Department said today.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said the U.S. was reviewing the request. The Defense Department said the U.S. assistance could include "some air, surface and sub-surface detection capabilities."

The search for the plane will resume early Tuesday local time.

Our original post continues:

Night has fallen over the Indian Ocean, and rescue crews have not been able to find a missing AirAsia jetliner.

As we've reported, Flight QZ8501 went missing on Sunday while traveling from Indonesia to Singapore. The Airbus A320 was carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members.

CNN reports:

"The search for a missing airliner with 162 people aboard will expand Tuesday, the Indonesian government announced.

"Four additional areas will be searched, the national search and rescue agency said. Seven zones were patrolled Monday, the second day of searching for AirAsia Flight QZ8501."

The New York Times reports that the hope of finding survivors has dimmed.

Bambang Soelistyo, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency in Indonesia, said early Monday that the plane was probably "at the bottom of the sea."

The Times adds:

"Relatives of the plane's passengers gathered in airports in Surabaya and Singapore, waiting in hopes of news.

"A woman at the Surabaya airport wandered by looking stunned and bereft and holding a framed photograph of a family of five.

" 'They were on their way to Singapore to visit their 12-year-old daughter,' said the woman, Nani, who said she was the family's maid. 'That girl is now an orphan.' "

USA Today reports that Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said this was still a rescue operation, but then he qualified his statement.

"Of course we hope there will be survivors and pray for that. But we realize that the worst may have happened."

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