AirAsia Flight QZ8501 had 162 people abroad when it disappeared and possibly sank to the bottom of the sea Sunday. The victims included 18 children and seven crew members, as well as sons, daughters and friends representing six nations.
The Indonesian government said Monday that the search for Flight QZ8501 will expand this week. Seven zones had already been patrolled and four more areas will be searched in the next few days, according to CNN. "Our early conjecture is that the plane is in the bottom of the sea," said Bambang Sulistyo, the head of the search and rescue agency, citing the plane's flight track and last known coordinates.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters his country won't stop until it recovers the plane and the victims' bodies. AirAsia said air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft at 7:24 a.m. Sunday, Singapore time. The plane was traveling from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore when it went missing over the Java Sea.
Families' of the victims said they fear the worst. "We don't know what to do," said Oei Endang Sulsilowati, who was waiting for information about her brother, his wife and their two children. "We are just waiting for news."
Police have asked for materials to help identify passengers once the plane is found, including DNA or fingerprints. The passengers included 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans and individuals from France, Malaysia, Britain and Singapore. Below are some of the victims who have been identified by relatives and friends since the plane disappeared Sunday.
Oscar Desano. Desano was among the seven crew members on board when the AirAsia flight went missing. He said on his Twitter account that he spent Christmas Day relaxing with a friend. His social media account has received attention after media reports noted that he had commented on Malaysian Airline MH17, which was shot out of the sky in July while flying over Ukraine. "I feel truly sorry for the lost of MH17 by Malaysia Airlines. It's been 2 big catastrophe event for MAS in 1 year," he posted on July 17, according to the Daily Mail. "My deep condolences also for the pax's family, may all the casualties rest in peace." His wife was reportedly six months pregnant with their first child. Other flight attendants who were scheduled to travel on flight QZ8501 include Wanti Setiawati, Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi and Wismoyo Ari Prambudi as well as technician Saiful Rakhmad.
â€” The Straits Times (@STcom) December 29, 2014
— Channel 8 News 8频道新闻 (@ch8newsSG) December 29, 2014
Chi-Man Choi. The British businessman and his 2-year-old daughter, Zoe, were allegedly only on board Flight QZ8501 because an earlier flight was booked full, according to the Telegraph. His wife and son were able to make the alternative flight, but the family of four planned to take two planes back to Singapore because of the high demand. Choi is originally from Hull, Yorkshire. He lives in Singapore but commuted to Indonesia, where he worked as a unit managing director for electronic manufacturing company Alstom Power.
â€” Press TV UK (@Presstvuk) December 29, 2014
Rémi Emmanuel Plesel. The 45-year-old French co-pilot of the AirAsia jet dreamed of flying as a boy, according to his sister. Aviation was his "passion," his sister, Renée, told French radio station RTL. Renée said she had little hope of seeing her brother again. He's originally from the island of Martinique in the Antilles. "When a plane falls out of the sky, there are hardly any survivors," she said. Plesel had 2,275 flying hours at the time of flight.
— Krystel Théophile (@krysstl) December 28, 2014