CNN and Fox News launched into extensive live coverage early Tuesday morning as search teams spotted bodies and debris in the Java Sea believed to be from AirAsia Flight 8501.
The cable news networks reported that Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, said he was “95 percent sure” the debris seen by surveillance aircraft was from the missing jetliner.
The Airbus A320-200 with 162 people on board disappeared three days earlier after departing from Surabaya in Indonesia en route to Singapore. As TheWrap previously reported, 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, were on the plane when it vanished. They were accompanied by seven crew members.
Of the people on the jet, 156 were from Indonesia, three were South Korean, one was British, one was French and one was Malaysian, the airline said. There were no Americans on the plane.
Indonesian television showed a man’s body floating in the waters. The images caused distraught family members who were watching TV in a waiting room at Surabaya airport to wail uncontrollably and several people collapsed, the Associated Press reported.
Six bodies were later recovered from the waters and taken to an Indonesian navy ship, according to media reports.
After the debris was discovered, Tony Fernandes, founder of AirAsia tweeted: “My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”